Updated September 2020
When a lease ends, you have the right to decide whether or not you want to renew the lease with the tenant. Some states and cities may put restrictions on how you make this decision, but it is generally up to you to determine if renewing the lease, signing a new lease agreement, or switching over to a month-to-month tenancy is the best choice.
Whether or not you decide to extend the lease, you need to know about lease renewal notices and how to use them.
These documents are used to communicate your plans to your tenant to ensure that both parties are equally informed, and they must be sent out with enough notice.
A Table Of Contents For Lease Renewal Notice Period
- What Is A Lease Renewal Notice Period?
- The Basics Of Lease Renewal Notices
- How Much Notice Does A Landlord Have To Give If Not Renewing A Lease
- How To Give Notice When Ending A One-Year Lease
- Does A Landlord Not Renewing A Lease Need A Reason?
- How To Tell A Tenant You’re Not Renewing: Sample Renewal Notices
- What Happens If You Don’t Give Notice At The End Of A One-Year Lease?
- FAQs About Lease Renewal Notices
- RentPrep’s Take On Giving Notice When Ending A One-Year Lease
- What Are Other Landlords Saying About Giving Notice When Ending A One-Year Lease
A lease renewal notice period is the timeframe before the end of the lease that a landlord or tenant must inform the other party if they are not going to renew the lease.
This lease renewal notice period should be spelled out in the lease but, in most instances, will be dictated by state law. Individual states have different guidelines on what must be put in a lease renewal notice, how long you have to send said notice, and who can receive a notice.
If you do not send out the lease renewal notice in the appropriate time frame, you may have to start over and send it again for it to be legally applicable. This will slow down your rental business, so it is important that you sent out non-renewal notices promptly.
While you might be aware that you need to send out a lease renewal notice to your tenants in some cases, you might not be aware of what should go into those notices! We have some samples at the end of today’s article that will be very helpful for you, but it’s important that you also understand what should go into the notice.
The basic components of a lease renewal notice are:
- Date the letter is sent
- Property address and tenant names
- Whether or not the lease will be renewed
- How to contact the landlord or property manager with questions
Based on whether or not the lease will be renewed, there is some additional information that should be given to the tenant at this time:
- If the lease will not be renewed, confirm when the tenant must leave by
- If a new lease will be signed, confirm the terms of the updated lease and set up a meeting to discuss and sign the new lease
- If the lease will be allowed to expire and convert into a month-to-month rental, explain what that means to the tenant
As you can see, the exact information that needs to be given is going to differ depending on the situation. Let’s help you get some more information about renewing leases, and then we’ll share our sample notice letters.
This duration period should be addressed in the lease. If it is not, you should refer to your state laws.
These notifications are mostly for landlords but can double as the rule for timelines for tenants as well.
As a rule of thumb, a 60-day notice is a good standard regardless of what your state laws say.
Lease Renewal Notice Period By State
Here’s a list of every US state and how much notice a landlord must give if not renewing a lease (as of November, 2017):
Alabama – No notice is required
Alaska – No notice is required
Arizona – No notice is required
Arkansas – No statute, which typically means no notice is required
California – No notice is required
Colorado – No notice is required
Connecticut – Three-day notice is required (§§ 47a-23)
Delaware – 60-day notice prior to the lease expiration date (§ 5106 (c))
Florida – Not less than 60 days’ notice prior to the end of any annual period (83.57(1))
Georgia – 60-day notice for landlord and 30-day notice for the tenant (GA Landlord Tenant Handbook)
Hawaii – Termination is automatic and there is no notice requirement (handbook, p. 13)
Idaho – Notice not required as the lease simply ends (AG’s Guidelines, pages 23 and 25)
Illinois – Yearly is 60 days, month-to-month is 30 days, week-to-week is 7 days (735 ILCS 5/9-205)
Indiana – No statute. No notice is needed as the lease simply expires. (IC 32-31-1-8)
Iowa – 30-day notice for a month-to-month lease (Iowa Code § 562A.34(3))
Kansas – No notice is required as the lease simply ends (§§ 58-2509)
Louisiana – No notice is required as the lease simply ends, unless the lease is extended by fact of the tenant remaining in the premises for longer than a week past the end of the lease without notice to vacate or terminate. If that happens, the lease is extended to month-to-month for leases whose term is a month or longer (CC 2720, CC 2721, CC 2723)
Maine – Not until after lease expiration, unless the tenant has broken a significant lease term and the lease itself states that violation of that term is a breach of the lease (Maine.gov)
Maryland – 3 months, except farm tenancies, which is 6 months. In Montgomery County, 2 months notice is required except for single-family homes. This is not applicable to Baltimore City (Md Real Property Code, 8-402(b)(3))
Massachusetts – Lease with no end date is 3 month’s notice, fixed end date has no statute, month-to-month is equal to the interval between the days of payment or 30 days, whichever is longer (MGL c.186 § 12)
Michigan – For a year-to-year lease with no end date, the notice will terminate the lease at the expiration of 1 year from the time of the service of the notice. (§§ 554.134(3)). For a month-to-month, it is 30 days and a week-to-week is is 7 days
Minnesota – No statute. The lease simply terminates as scheduled (§§ 504B.145)
Mississippi – Fixed end date in the lease requires no notice. A yearly lease with no end date require a 2-month’s written notice, a month-to-month lease require a s 30-day written notice, and a week-to-week lease requires 7 days (§ 89-7-23)
Missouri – Fixed end date in lease requires no notice, a yearly lease with no end date requires a 60-day notice, a month-to-month lease requires a 1-month’s written notice, and a week-to-week lease has no statute (§§ 441.070)
Montana – A fixed end date lease and any periodic lease of a year or more both have no statute, so no notice is required. A month-to-month lease requires 30 days while a week-to-week requires 7 days’ written notice (Mont. Ann. Code §§70-24-441)
Nebraska – Fixed end date lease requires no notice, a month-to-month lease requires 30 days prior to the periodic rental date specified in the notice (§§ 76-1437(2)), and a week-to-week lease requires 7 days prior to the termination date specified in the notice (§§ 76-1437(1))
Nevada – A yearly lease has no statute, a month-to-month requires 30 days, a week-to-week requires 7 days of notice (NRS 40.251)
New Hampshire – Yearly leases (fixed end date AND no end date) require 30-days notice, a month-to-month requires 30 days, and a week-to-week requires 30 days. (§§ 540:3(II))
New Jersey – Fixed end date leases require no notice, a yearly lease with no end date requires three months, a month-to-month lease requires 1 month, and a week-to-week lease requires 7 days (§§ 2A:18-56(c))
New Mexico – Fixed end date leases require no notice, a month-to-month lease require a 30-day written notice, and week-to-week leases require a 7-day written notice (§ 47-8-37(A))
New York – If the tenant has a lease less than one year, a 30-day notice is required. If the tenant has lived in the apartment for more than one year but less than two, it requires a 6-day notice. Tenants who have lived in a unit longer than two years or have a lease of at least two years, must get a 90-day notice from the landlord (source: NY Times)
North Carolina – Fixed end date leases require no notice, yearly leases require 1 month or more before the end of tenancy, month-to-month leases require 7 days, and week-to-week leases require 2 days (NCGS § 42-14)
North Dakota – Fixed end date leases do not require notice, a yearly lease with no end date requires a 1-month written notice, a month-to-month lease requires one month, a week-to-week lease requires one week notice (§ 47-16-14)
Ohio – A fixed end date lease requires no notice, a month-to-month lease requires 30 days, a week-to-week lease requires a 7-day notice (§§ 5321.17(B))
Oklahoma – Fixed end date leases require no notice, month-to-month leases require a 30-day written notice, and week-to-week leases require a 7-day notice. (§ 111(C))
Oregon – A yearly lease with no end date requires a 60-day notice or more, a fixed end date lease requires no notice, and month-to-month leases require 30 days or more in writing (Or. Rev. Stat. § 91.060)
Pennsylvania – A year or less lease requires 15 days of notice, a lease of more than a year requires 30 days (68 P.S. §§ 250.501(b))
Rhode Island – Fixed end date leases require no notice, a yearly lease with no end date requires a 3-month notice, a month-to-month lease requires a 30-day notice, whereas a week-to-week lease requires a 10-day notice (§ 34-18-37(c))
South Carolina – Fixed end date leases require no notice, a month-to-month lease requires 30 days, and a week-to-week lease requires 7 days (§ 27-40-770(a))
South Dakota – A fixed end date lease requires no notice, a month-to-month lease requires a 30-day notice (tenants who are active military are entitled to two months written notice), and a week-to-week lease requires a one week notice to terminate (§§ 43-32-22(1))
Tennessee – Fixed end date leases require no notice, a month-to-month lease requires 30 days, a week-to-week lease requires 10 days (Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-512(b))
Texas – At least one month is required for yearly and month-to-month leases (texas.gov)
Utah – A fixed end date in lease requires no notice, a lease with no end date requires 15 days, and a month-to-month lease requires a 15-day notice (UCA §§ 78B-6-802)
Vermont – A fixed end date in lease requires no notice, any lease of a year or more requires 90 days, a month-to-month lease requires at least 30 days, and a week-to-week lease requires 21 days (9 V.S.A. § 4467(c)(1)(A))
Virginia – A yearly lease requires a 3-month notice and a month-to-month lease requires 30 days (§ 55-222(A))
Washington – A fixed end date in lease requires no notice and a month-to-month lease requires 20 days or more notice (RCW §§ 59.04.030)
West Virginia – A fixed end date in lease requires no notice, a yearly lease with no end date requires a 3-month written notice, a month-to-month lease requires 1 month’s notice, and a week-to-week lease requires a 1-week notice. (§ 37-6-5)
Wisconsin – Varies largely depending on the situation; here is a link with details.
Wyoming – There is no statute for any types of leases and, therefore, it does not require any notice.
Double check your state laws by visiting the link provided with each state.
There are certain steps a landlord must take to notify the tenants of the non-renewal. Most states require the landlord to give some kind of written notice to the tenant. The lease renewal notice period is usually 30 to 60 days, depending on the state. At that time, landlords need to mail (we suggest paying for certified mail) or hand-deliver a letter that states the tenant’s lease will come to an end on a given date.
In that letter, the landlord typically does not have to provide a reason for the non-renewal of the lease. The landlord may decide they simply want to find a new tenant. Many state laws protect landlords in this way, allowing them to terminate a lease without needing a reason whenever the expiration of a lease happens.
However, some states (such as California) do require that the landlord have a just cause for terminating the lease. This means that non-renewal can only happen in specific cases. In all other cases, the lease automatically turns into a month-to-month tenancy once expired.
If the tenant fails to vacate the rental property by the time the rental lease agreement is up, landlords will go ahead with that tenant’s eviction.
In most states, a landlord does not have to provide reason for why they are choosing to not renew a lease. In the same breath, a tenant also does not have to provide reason for nonrenewal.
A lease is a contract with a start and end date; as long as that contract is completed, no reasoning for non-renewal is needed.
In this section, we’ll go over our sample letters. These templates can easily be used to communicate with your tenants about lease renewal, and there is also an example letter that your tenants can use as well.
Each of these templates should be adapted to fit your particular situation more accurately.
Landlord Notice Of Nonrenewal To Tenants
Here’s a sample notice you can provide your tenant if you do not plan to renew the lease and expect the tenant to move out by the end of the tenancy period.
Dear (Tenant’s name),
This letter is to inform you that I do not intend to renew your lease. As per the laws of the State of (insert state), this is your (insert number of days) notice of non-renewal.
As of the (one day after their lease expires), all possessions should be removed from the premise and keys in the possession of the landlord.
I can be reached at (phone number and address) if you have any questions between now and the end of your lease that ends on (insert lease end date).
(Landlord/Property Manager’s Name)
Lease Non-Renewal Letter To Landlord
Here’s a sample notice your tenants can provide to you to inform you that they will not be renewing your lease.
Dear (Landlord’s name),
This letter is to inform you that I do not intend to renew my lease. As per the laws of the State of (insert state), this is my (insert number of days) notice of non-renewal stating that I will be leaving my apartment on (date), which is the end of my current lease.
I expect that my security deposit of ($__) will be returned in full as the apartment will be left in broom-swept condition.
I can be reached at (phone number and address) if you have any questions between now and the end of my lease that ends on (insert lease end date).
Lease Renewal Notice To Tenant
Use the following notice sample to let your tenant know you would like to sign a new lease with them and what the renewal term will be.
(Date notice is being sent)
Dear (Tenant’s name),
This letter is your official notice that your current lease expires on (lease expiration date). You have been a great tenant and we would like to enter into a new lease of (insert lease length).
Attached to this notice you will find a copy of the new lease for your records. All of the original terms of the lease remain the same with the exception of (insert any changes such as dates or rent amount).
Your security deposit (and any other deposits such as pet deposits) will remain intact and carry over into the new lease term.
If you decide to renew the lease, please call us at (insert phone number) so we can go over and sign the new lease together. This must be done by (insert date of your choice before the end of the current lease).
If you decide to move on from this apartment, please give us an (insert number of days based on your state’s law) day notice of non-renewal.
(Landlord printed name)
If you do not give the written notice that the lease will not be renewed, a one-year lease will transition into a month-to-month lease agreement. The tenant will continue to pay rent monthly until one of the parties decides to end the lease.
This means that either the landlord or the tenant can end the rental lease agreement with a 30-day written notice. In most states, neither party needs to give a reason for the termination after this time.
If the landlord wants to end the lease but the tenants do not, it’s important to communicate with each other. Landlords should explain the process and cite state law as they will likely be more familiar with the process than the tenants.
Under no circumstances should landlords accept rent or agree to any new leasing terms beyond the original lease term if they want the tenants to vacate. The court will interpret either of these actions as being a default extension for the original lease as one that is now month-to-month.
Can An Apartment Refuse To Renew A Lease?
In most states, it is up to the property owner and manager to determine whether or not they want to extend their lease agreement with a tenant. If they do not want to continue to rent to that tenant for some reason, it is within their rights to do so.
There are a few states, however, that require a “just cause” reason for lease termination. In California, for example, leases must be renewed unless the landlord plans to stop renting the property for a legitimate reason such as renovation.
As with all rental laws, it is important to make sure you find out if your state or city has any ordinances with this type of lease renewal agreement restrictions. Ordinances that affect landlords vary widely between locations, so you want to make sure you’re knowledgeable about those that affect you.
If you are considering not renewing a lease with your tenant, be sure to communicate this with them within the required amount of time.
What Is The Difference Between A Lease Renewal And Lease Extension?
A lease renewal is when a completely new lease agreement will be signed between the tenant and the landlord. This lease agreement may have the same terms as the original lease agreement, or it may include updated terms that are agreed upon by both parties.
A lease extension is when the original lease is extended to cover an additional period. This can be done through an addendum that is signed by both parties; in this case, the original lease terms would apply exactly as they were.
A lease extension can also automatically occur when a tenancy continues past the original tenancy dates. In this case, the one-year lease agreement automatically converts into a month-to-month tenancy. While most of the original lease terms will apply, some rules about required notice periods may change to reflect that the rental is now a month-to-month tenancy.
How Long Can A Tenant Stay Without A Lease Renewal?
A lease renewal is not required for a tenant to be able to continue living in a property. Most state’s rental laws recommend that expired lease agreements automatically convert into month-to-month tenancies with the same rules as the original lease.
This means that a tenant can continue to stay in a property, without signing a new lease agreement, for as long as it is amenable to both parties. Fixed-term leases and month-to-month tenancies have many of the same rules and regulations, but there may be some important differences in the amount of time required to send out various rental notices to your tenant.
Once the tenant wants to move out or the landlord wants the tenant to move on, the required notice will need to be sent to the other party.
Landlords need to comply with the laws of their state when it comes to giving a notice of lease termination when ending a one-year lease. They need to communicate their intentions and try to give the tenant enough notice so they can vacate.
The state laws try to be fair to both parties. Because both the tenant and the landlord are bound by the contract that is the lease agreement, they are both beholden to it. If there are any complications regarding giving notice when ending a one-year lease, landlords should consult with a landlord/tenant attorney.
Every landlord needs to protect themselves and their rental business. There are many real-life examples of how landlords are dealing with ending lease agreements in the RentPrep Facebook group.
Here’s a screenshot of landlords discussing this question in our private Facebook group for Landlords.
You can see even more comments on that post by checking it out in the group.
Make Your Decision With Confidence
It is up to you to determine if it is time to end a lease, sign a new lease, or continue into a month-to-month tenancy with your tenant. Only you are familiar with the property and the tenant; only you can make that call.
Regardless of what decision you make, you must be sure to act with knowledge and confidence:
- Send out any non-renewal notices with enough time for the tenant to vacate the properly
- Send out renewal notices with the details of the new lease with enough time to sign the new lease before the old one expires
- Send out information about the any month-to-month tenancy requirements on time as well
The key point to remember anytime that you need to communicate with your tenant is that you are required by law to give tenants enough time to deal with your decision. It is within your rights to make decisions about your property, but those decisions affect your tenants’ lives as well. For that reason, paying attention to the required timeframe should be at the top of your priority list.