Non-Renewal of Lease Letter

Last Updated: May 18, 2022 by Robert Bailey

A Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease is a document landlords send to notify a tenant that they will not be renewing their lease. This notice will inform the tenant of their obligations under their current lease including their remaining rent payment(s) and instructions for moving out.

Failure to timely send this notice could lead to difficulties in terminating a tenant’s lease.

Do I Need a Reason to not Renew a Lease?

No, at the end of a lease’s term, a landlord can choose not to renew for almost any reason. There are a couple of exceptions:

  • Retaliation (e.g., lease not renewed because tenant asserted one of their legal rights as a tenant).
  • Discrimination (see The Fair Housing Act and our guide to help you better understand this exception).
  • Local public housing authority (i.e., Section 8 tenants, etc.).

Failing to renew a lease based on one of the above reasons can result in fines, penalties and a potential lawsuit from a former tenant.

When to Send a Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease

For fixed term leases, the lease agreement should provide the minimum time required, if any, for sending a Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease. Failure to send the notice in a timely manner will convert the expiring lease into a month-to-month tenancy, unless your lease says otherwise.

Even if a notice is not required, a Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease is strongly recommended. This provides the tenant with time to find a new place to live. The tenant’s response will also help determine if the tenant plans to comply or if there may be additional legal action you will need to take.

State Laws on Sending a Notice of Non-Renewal

If a lease has lapsed and is on a month-to-month basis there is often no language in the lease agreement for how to terminate the lease.

Depending on the state, a landlord will have a specific timeframe for sending the notice. It’s important that landlords meet these timeframes to avoid any further delays. See the chart below for your state’s time requirements for sending a Notice of Non-Renewal.


State Month-to-Month Lease
Alabama 30 days
Alaska 30 days
Arizona 30 days
Arkansas 30 days
California 30 days
Colorado 21 days
Connecticut 3 days
Delaware 60 days (Notice period begins on the first day of the month following the date the notice was sent).
Florida 15 days
Georgia 60 days
Hawaii 45 days
Idaho 30 days
Illinois 30 days
Indiana 30 days
Iowa 30 days
Kansas 30 days
Kentucky 30 days
Louisiana 10 days
Maine 30 days
Maryland 60 days
Massachusetts Interval between days of payment or 30 days, whichever is longer
Michigan One month
Minnesota Interval between time rent is due or 3 months, whichever is less
Mississippi 30 days
Missouri One month
Montana 30 days
Nebraska 30 days
Nevada 30 days
New Hampshire 30 days
New Jersey One month>
New Mexico 30 days
New York
  1. 30 days (less than one year).
  2. 60 days (more than one year, but less than two).
  3. 90 days (more than two years).
North Carolina 7 days
North Dakota One month
Ohio 30 days
Oklahoma 30 days
  1.  30 days (one year or less).
  2. 90 days (one year or more).
Pennsylvania 15 days
Rhode Island 30 days
South Carolina 30 days
South Dakota One month
Tennessee 30 days
Texas One month
Utah 15 days
Vermont 30 days
Virginia 30 days
Washington 20 days
Washington D.C. 30 days
West Virginia One month
Wisconsin 28 days
Wyoming No statute

If there isn’t a specific time period that is provided by your lease or state law, a Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease should still be sent. Typically, it is recommended to provide at least 60 days’ notice. A Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease provides the following benefits:

    Gives your tenant the greatest opportunity to find a new rental unit.

  • Helps avoid potential conflicts with the tenant.
  • Ensures the rental unit will be vacated in a timely manner and the landlord can quickly rent out the unit to a new tenant.
  • Record of timely communication in case the tenant refuses to vacate the premises and needs to be evicted.

How to Write a Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease

The Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease should include the following information:

  1. Date the letter is being sent.
  2. Landlord’s name and contact information.
  3. Tenant’s name and contact information.
  4. Rental property address, including the unit number.
  5. A reference to current lease agreement (include an attached copy).
  6. The date that the last payment is due.
  7. Expiration date of existing lease.
  8. Reason for not renewing lease (optional).
  9. Current lease requirements of tenant.
  10. Move-out instructions.
  11. Deadline for tenant’s response.
  12. Landlord’s signature.
  13. Tenant’s acknowledgement.

How to Send a Notice of Non-Renewal of Lease

Most lease agreements will specify how communication should be sent between the landlord and tenant.

Ideally, you want to send a notice in a way that requires a signature confirmation to document its receipt. This can be accomplished by certified mail or send it by restricted certified mail which requires the tenant to be the only person that can sign for the notice.

The landlord should keep a copy of this notice filed with a notation of the delivery method and any other relevant information.

What’s Next?

Once a landlord has sent the Notice of Non-Renewal, it’s important to know what may happen next and what you need to do.

Tenant Acknowledges Notice and Vacates

In a typical scenario, the tenant will acknowledge the notice and make plans to move out in accordance with the lease and move-out instructions. The landlord can communicate with the tenant to finalize the process based on these instructions. These move-out instructions typically include things like:

  • Cleaning the rental unit.
  • Tenant’s returning rental unit key.
  • Landlord inspection.
  • Return of security deposit.
  • Repairs for damages beyond normal wear and tear.

If you are planning on renting out the unit again it’s time to start planning for a new tenant. This includes:

Holdover Tenant

If a tenant does not vacate the premises, the landlord can begin the eviction process. The fact that you have documented communication notifying the tenant of your decision to not renew the lease is a good starting point for removing a holdover tenant.

It is recommended to not accept rent payments. Acceptance of payment may waive your rights to eviction and the tenant may be considered as having a month-to-month lease.

Please read our additional resources when dealing with a Tenant Holdover.