Eviction Notice Form

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  • Eviction Notice. A written document (usually) stating that tenants must move out or comply with a requirement within a specified time period or be evicted.
  • Notice Period. Amount of time given in an eviction notice for a tenant to either move out of the rental unit or comply with a requirement before eviction proceedings will begin.
  • Ability to Cure. Whether or not a tenant can correct (or cure) the ground for eviction listed on the eviction notice and remain in the rental unit.

An eviction notice form is a legal document issued by a landlord to a tenant that outlines a violation of their responsibilities, such as not paying rent. Some states and violations allow the tenant to “cure” (fix) the issue, while others immediately require the tenant to vacate.

Eviction notices are typically the first step in the process of legally evicting a tenant. They typically include the reason for the eviction and what date they will have to cure the issue or vacate by.

State-Specific Eviction Notice Forms

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Types of Eviction Notice Forms

We look at the most common types of eviction notice forms below, and explain when a landlord would use them.

  • Nonpayment of Rent. This eviction notice form is used when a tenant is past-due on rent. In some states, the tenant is allowed to pay past-due rent and avoid eviction.
  • Non-Compliance with Lease/Rental Agreement. This form is used when a tenant has violated a term of the lease/rental agreement, and/or a provision of the state’s landlord/tenant laws.
  • Termination of Lease. This form is used when a tenant’s verbal or written lease/rental agreement will not be renewed, and for tenancies that don’t have a set termination date.
  • Illegal Activity. Some states require a separate notice when tenants (or other occupants of a rental unit) are involved in illegal activity on or near the rental property.
  • Material Health/Safety Violation. A few states also require a separate notice for tenants who have violated a lease term or provision of the state’s landlord/tenant law that violates building, housing, health, or safety codes.

Eviction Notice for Nonpayment of Rent

Typically, an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent includes the following elements:

  • Amount owed – amount of past-due rent plus any late fees/interest if allowed by law.
  • Ability to cure nonpayment of rent – not all states allow tenants to cure nonpayment.
  • Notice period – the amount of time the tenant has to move out or pay past-due rent.
  • Deadline to pay (if curable) – usually within the required notice period, but this varies by state.

Each of the above elements is described below.

Amount Owed

Allowable amounts owed can vary by state.  Some states allow landlords to assess additional fees as part of the back rent owed, such as interest on the balance due or late fees for each day the rent is late.

And, other states allow landlords to include any past-due utilities in the amount due, as well.

Some states, however, only allow landlords to use the actual amount of unpaid rent for the total past-due amount listed on the eviction notice.

In fact, in a few states, if any amount other than rent is included in the past due amount on the eviction notice, this can be a defense against the eviction in court.

When in doubt, check your state’s laws regarding the allowable fees/expenses that can be assessed as part of a past-due rent eviction action.

Ability to Cure Nonpayment of Rent

As noted above, some states allow tenants to pay past-due rent amounts in order to avoid eviction.

When tenants can do this varies by state, with some allowing payments to be made after the eviction hearing has been held, while in others, tenants must pay past-due rent within the notice period stated on the eviction notice.

Other states do not allow tenants to cure past-due rent, and the tenant will be evicted, even if they pay all, or some, of the past-due amount owed.

Notice Period

Notice periods for eviction notices for nonpayment of rent vary by state, but range from no written notice to 30 days’ written notice.

Deadline to Pay (if Curable)

Although this is typically the same as the notice period, in a few states it’s not.  (And, keep in mind that in many states, tenants are allowed to pay the past-due amount owed at any time during the eviction process in order to avoid being evicted.)

The following chart lists the required notice periods in each state for nonpayment of rent, along with whether or not the tenant is able to pay past-due rent and avoid eviction.

State Notice Period Can Pay and Avoid Eviction?
Alabama 7 days Yes
Alaska 7 days Yes
Arizona 5 days Yes
Arkansas 3/10 days No
California 3 days Yes
Colorado 3/5/10 days Yes
Connecticut 3 days No
Delaware 5 days Yes
Florida 3 days Yes
Georgia Not specified Yes
Hawaii 5 days Yes
Idaho 3 days Yes
Illinois 5 days Yes
Indiana 10 days Yes
Iowa 3 days Yes
Kansas 3 days Yes
Kentucky 7 days Yes
Louisiana 5 days: written leases

20 days: verbal leases

No
Maine* Varies Maybe
Maryland None Yes
Massachusetts 14 days Yes
Michigan 7 days Yes
Minnesota None/14 days Yes
Mississippi 3 days Yes
Missouri None Yes
Montana 3 days Yes
Nebraska 7 days Yes
Nevada 7 days Yes
New Hampshire 7 days Yes
New Jersey None Yes
New Mexico 3 days Yes
New York 14 days Yes
North Carolina 10 days Yes
North Dakota 3 days Yes
Ohio 3 days Yes
Oklahoma* 5/10 days Yes
Oregon* 72/144 hours Yes
Pennsylvania 10 days Yes
Rhode Island 5 days Yes
South Carolina 5 days Yes
South Dakota 3 days No
Tennessee* 7/14 days 14 days: yes

7 days: no

Texas 3 days No
Utah 3 days Yes
Vermont 14 days Yes
Virginia 5 days Yes
Washington 14 days Yes
West Virginia None Yes
Wisconsin* 5/14/30 days 5/30 days: yes

14 days: no

Wyoming 3 days Yes
Washington, D.C. None Yes

 

Special Cases

Some states have more complex rules regarding nonpayment notices, and whether or not tenants can pay to avoid eviction.

Each of these states is listed in more detail below.

Wisconsin

Leases under one year—5-Day Notice

Leases more than one year—30-Day Notice

At-will tenants—5 Day Notice (allowed to pay past-due rent to avoid eviction)

At-will tenants—14-Day Notice (not allowed to pay past-due rent to avoid eviction)

Written leases—tenants must be given the option to pay past due rent in order to avoid eviction.

Tennessee

14-Day Notice for 1st violation

7-Day Notice (for 2nd nonpayment within 6 months, not allowed to pay to avoid eviction)

Oregon

72-hour Notice (given on 8th day of rental period)

144-hour Notice (given on 5th day of rental period)

Oklahoma

5-Day Notice (less than three months’ rent owed)

10-Day Notice (more than three months’ rent owed)

Maine

At-will tenants—7-Day Notice; must be given the opportunity to pay to avoid eviction

Written leases—Amount of notice is specified in the lease; may not have the ability to pay in order to avoid eviction.

Eviction Notice for Non-Compliance with Lease / Rental Agreement

This is often a catch-all eviction notice, and varies from state to state.  Depending on the state, “non-compliance” can include:

  • Illegal activity
  • Lease/rental agreement violations
  • Material health/safety violations
  • Violation of a provision of the state’s landlord/tenant law
  • Nonpayment of rent

In addition, several states make a distinction between general non-compliance and substantial, or material, non-compliance.  Substantial/material non-compliance is typically a more serious violation, and tenants may not be given a chance to cure a violation that qualifies as substantial/material.

In other states, the notice for non-compliance is much narrower, and only includes lease/rental agreement violations and violations of a provision of the state’s landlord/tenant law.

Typically, an eviction notice for non-compliance includes the following elements:

  • Specific act(s) of non-compliance  what the tenant did to violate the lease/rental agreement and/or landlord-tenant law.
  • Ability to cure the non-compliance – not all states allow tenants to cure non-compliance.
  • Notice period – the amount of time the tenant has to move out or comply with the notice.
  • Deadline to cure (if curable) – usually within the required notice period, but this varies by state.

Each of the above elements is described below.

Specific Act(s) of Non-Compliance

This section of the notice tells the tenant exactly what lease term, landlord rule/regulation, or provision of the law has been violated.  The more specific this section is, the better, since vague explanations can be viewed by the eviction court as invalid or potentially discriminatory.

A specific notice also helps the tenant understand where they’ve failed to meet their responsibilities, and gives them a better chance of curing the violation to the landlord’s satisfaction (if the violation is curable).

Ability to Cure Non-Compliance

The notice for non-compliance should clearly state whether the violation is curable, and if so, what the tenant must do in order to cure the violation.

Most states allow tenants the opportunity to cure a non-compliance issue.  However, there are a few non-compliance categories that are generally not curable:

  • Illegal activity
  • Material health/safety violations
  • Substantial/material violations

If a violation is not curable, then the tenant must move out by the date specified on the notice or the eviction process will continue.

If the violation is curable, and the tenant cures the violation within the prescribed period stated on the notice, eviction proceedings will stop.

NOTE

In a few states, simply starting the process of correcting the violation during the notice period, even if it’s not completely corrected, is enough to stop eviction proceedings.

For example, a tenant is required to repair a hole in the wall within 5 days of receiving notice.  They find a drywaller within that period, and arrange for the drywaller to fix the wall in two weeks.  Because the tenant arranged to fix the issue within the 5 day period, the eviction process is halted in those states.

However, if the tenant doesn’t attempt to correct the violation within the required period, or the violation is non-curable, the eviction action will continue.

Notice Period

Notice periods for eviction notices for non-compliance vary by state, but range from no written notice to 30 days’ written notice.

Notice periods may be shorter for substantial or material non-compliance as those are typically more serious than non-compliance in general.

Deadline to Cure (if Curable)

Although this is typically the same as the notice period, in a few states it’s not.  For example, in some states, a tenant must cure the violation within 14 days or move out within 30 days of the notice date.

Again, in a few states, if the tenant simply attempts to correct the violation before the end of the notice period (but hasn’t completely corrected the issue), that’s enough to stop the eviction proceedings.

Lease Termination Notice

This notice can be given in several scenarios.  If a tenant’s lease will not be renewed, whether written or verbal, some states require landlords to provide written notice that the lease will not be renewed.

This notice can also be used for tenants who don’t have a lease, but rent week-to-week, month-to-month, or some other period, and the landlord wants to end the tenancy.

These notices don’t typically have to give a reason for ending the tenancy, and are sometimes called No Cause notices.

Note that these types of notices are not curable, and the tenant must move out by the deadline in the notice.

Typically, a lease termination notice includes the following elements:

  • Date the tenancy terminates – the final day the tenant can live in the rental unit
  • Notice period – the amount of time the tenant has to move out before an eviction proceeding will begin (may be the same as the tenancy termination date).

Each of the above elements is described below.

Date the Tenancy Terminates

In many states, this is tied to the rent payment periods.  For example, if a tenant rents week-to-week, the landlord may be required to give one rent period’s notice—which in this case would be one week.  For month-to-month tenants, the notice period would be one month.

Other states look at how long the tenant has resided in the rental unit to determine how much notice a landlord is required to give.  Longer tenancies (one year or more) typically require longer notice periods than tenancies of one year or less.

Some states require that landlords give tenants a certain number of days after the last rent payment is due to move out, so the tenancy could end after one month and five days, for example, depending on when the notice was given.

Notice Period

As noted above, the notice periods can be based on the rent period or length of tenancy, or some other calculation per state law.  Usually the notice period and date the tenancy terminates are the same, although that’s not the case for all states.

And in some states, no notice period is required for terminating written leases that are expiring.

Notice periods for lease terminations can range from no written notice (for written lease agreements in some states) to 90 days or more.

Eviction Notice for Illegal Activity

In some states, illegal activity doesn’t require a separate eviction notice, because it is viewed as non-compliance with the lease/rental agreement.  In other states, illegal activity is a separate ground for eviction that requires a separate eviction notice.

In most states, evictions for illegal activity aren’t curable.

Typically, an eviction notice for illegal activity includes the following elements:

  • Type of illegal activity – the specific action that violates a law, statute, or rule.
  • Who was involved in the activity – whether it was the tenant, a guest, or another occupant in the rental unit.
  • Notice period – the amount of time the tenant has to move out.

Each of the above elements is described below.

Type of Illegal Activity

The notice should specifically state what the tenant, their guest, or another occupant of the rental unit did to violate the law, statute, rule, etc.  The burden of proof in court is typically on the landlord for these types of eviction actions.

However, if the tenant, guest, or another occupant of the rental unit has been convicted of certain illegal activities while living in the rental unit, the landlord doesn’t usually need to prove the activity happened.

Most states have very specific illegal actions that are grounds for eviction.  Often these include violent acts, illegal drug activity, or being a registered sex offender.

Keep in mind that just because a tenant has committed some type of crime, that doesn’t mean the landlord automatically has grounds to evict the tenant.

For example, a tenant may be a shoplifter, but this might not be a valid reason to pursue an eviction action against the tenant under your state’s laws.

Who Was Involved in the Illegal Activity

An eviction notice for illegal activity should also include who, specifically, participated in the activity, if known.

It may be difficult for a landlord to win an eviction action if the landlord is unable to show that the tenant was involved in, or aware of, the illegal activity.

In fact, in many states, if the tenant can prove that they were either not involved in or not aware of the illegal activity that was taking place in the rental unit, the court will not evict the tenant from the rental unit (but other occupants may be ordered to leave).

Notice Period

Notice periods for eviction notices for illegal activity vary by state, but range from no written notice to 30 days written notice, depending on the type of illegal activity and the state.

Eviction Notice for Material Health / Safety Violation

This type of notice is typically given when a tenant has violated a safety, health, building, or housing code violation.  Depending on the state and the specific violation, material health/safety violations may or may not be curable.

Typically, an eviction notice for a material health/safety violation includes the following elements:

  • Reason for the eviction – the specific violation the tenant is being evicted for, and which rule/statute/law it violates.
  • Ability to cure the material health/safety violation– not all states allow tenants to cure material/health safety violations.
  • Notice period – the amount of time the tenant has to move out or comply with the notice.
  • Deadline to cure (if curable) – usually within the required notice period, but this varies by state.

Each of the above elements is described below.

Reason for the Eviction

Just like with evictions for illegal activity, it’s best to be very specific about what the tenant has done and which rule/statute/law the action violates.  If this information is too vague, the eviction court may rule for the tenant.

Being specific also ensures the tenant is able to cure the violation to the landlord’s satisfaction if it’s a curable violation.  It’s difficult for a tenant to correct an issue if they’re not sure why they’re being evicted.

Ability to Cure the Material Health/Safety Violation

As noted above, some states allow tenants to cure material health/safety violations in order to avoid eviction.

If the material health/safety violation can be cured, the eviction notice should state clearly what the tenant needs to do in order to avoid eviction and when they need to do it.

If the violation isn’t cured within the notice period (or isn’t curable), the eviction process will continue.

Notice Period

Notice periods for eviction notices for material health and/or safety violations vary by state, but range from no written notice to 30 days written notice.

Deadline to Cure (if Curable)

Although this is typically the same as the notice period, in a few states it’s not.  If there is a different time period to cure the violation, then this should also be clearly stated in the notice.  For example, a tenant may have 14 days to cure a violation or they will be required to move out 30 days from the notice date.

Delivering Eviction Notices

Each state has its own guidelines for how an eviction notice must be delivered (or served) on the tenant.  If the landlord doesn’t correctly serve the eviction notice on the tenant, the eviction proceeding could be stopped.

Some states allow landlords to simply mail a copy of the notice to their tenants via regular mail, while others require the notice to be sent via certified or registered mail.  Other states expect landlords to give the notice to their tenant in person, or to a member of the tenant’s household.

Some of the more common delivery methods allowed by different states include:

  • Mailing via regular mail
  • Mailing via certified/registered mail
  • Personal service on tenant or member of tenant’s household
  • Personal service on someone at tenant’s workplace
  • Service by process server or sheriff
  • Posting the notice in a conspicuous location on the rental premises (usually after other methods have failed)
  • Publishing the eviction notice in a local newspaper (usually after other methods have failed)

Most states expect the landlord to make multiple attempts to deliver the notice if the initial attempt has failed (i.e. mail is returned or refused).

Landlords should keep records of the ways in which they have attempted to serve the tenant to show the court they have complied, or attempted to comply, with the notice delivery requirements.

Next Steps in Eviction Process

Once an eviction notice has been delivered to a tenant, the clock starts ticking on the eviction process.

For non-curable violations, if the tenant doesn’t move out within the time period stated on the notice, the landlord can begin the eviction process.  (This includes lease termination notices.)

For curable violations, if the tenant doesn’t do whatever was required in the notice within the notice period (i.e. paying rent or making a repair), then the landlord can begin the eviction process.

This usually involves the landlord filing a formal complaint, petition, or motion with the court, asking the judicial officer to authorize the landlord to remove the tenant from the rental unit.  A hearing date is usually set at this time.

The summons and a copy of the complaint, petition, or motion is then served on the tenant, which includes the date of the eviction hearing.

Typically, if a tenant doesn’t appear for the eviction hearing, the court will rule in the landlord’s favor, and the tenant will be evicted.  It is always in a tenant’s best interest to show up for the eviction hearing, and be prepared to offer any defenses they may have.