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Eviction Notice: What Is It?

All landlords would love nothing more than to have tenants who always pay their rent on time and take proper care of the property. However, that’s not always the case when it comes to rental properties. Landlords are generally forbidden by state law from taking actions commonly referred to as “self-help” methods if they want to remove a tenant from their property. When a landlord has a legal right to evict a tenant depends on the state in which the property is located. Yet, when landlords have the legal right and want to evict a tenant, they must follow landlord-tenant laws and issue an eviction notice.

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Contents of An Eviction Notice

An eviction notice must be state specific. This means that it must contain certain things in order for it to be legal. The eviction notice must follow the laws of the state where the rental property is located. This is an important point for landlords who live in a different state than the property is located.

An eviction notice must be properly served to the tenant. In most states, the landlord may not serve the tenant directly. Instead, they must someone who meets the process serving guidelines in their state. If the landlord files a suit in housing or small claims court to complete the legal eviction process, they may be able to pay a small fee to the court so that the county sheriff serves the tenant.

Each state has a law that discusses the amount of time that the tenant should receive (notice) to correct an issue (such as not paying rent) or they must move out. Basic eviction notices should include:

  • The date the eviction notice was issued.
  • The name, address, and phone number of the landlord or property management company issuing the eviction notice.
  • The name, address, and phone number of the tenant(s) being evicted from the property.
  • The body of the notice should include an explanation of the violation that has led to the issuance of the eviction notice. For instance, if the tenant didn’t pay their rent, the violation could be explained as failure to pay rent by X date as explained in the lease or rental agreement.
  • How the tenant can remedy the violation and how long they have to do so. Keep in mind that how long the tenant may have to remedy the violation may be defined by the laws in your state. Additionally, some states have landlord-tenant statutes that allow landlords to evict tenants for certain items, such as involvement in certain crimes or serious damage to the property, without giving the tenant the opportunity to correct the issue.
  • The eviction notice should be dated and signed by the landlord or by the property management company. State law will determine how the tenant may be properly served with the eviction notice.

An eviction notice template can save landlords and property management companies a lot of time and effort when it comes to the very trying and often stressful process of evictions. With that said, you should have your eviction notice template reviewed by a landlord-tenant attorney in your state to make sure that it is legal and includes any state specific elements.