It’s never easy for a landlord to evict a tenant from their home, but sometimes it’s necessary in order for you both to move forward. If you’ve come to the decision that it’s best to evict your tenant, it’s time to start the eviction process.
This involves ensuring your Eviction Notice (sometimes called an eviction letter or Notice to Quit) is clear, concise, and includes all the information you and your tenant need to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
You’ll also want to be sure your providing your Eviction Notice legally by completing all the necessary steps and by including important information as we discuss below.
1. Address the Tenant(s) Named in the Residential Lease
The Residential Lease you signed at the start of the tenancy should have the names of every tenant currently living at the rental property. A landlord may choose to evict only one or all tenants from the premises, but depending on local and state laws, the landlord may not have a choice but to evict all the tenants at once. In this case, a new lease could most likely be created that includes the tenants the landlord wants to continue renting to.
2. List the Lease Information
An Eviction Notice should include detailed information about the rental property, including the full address (unit number, street, city, and zip code) and the date that the lease was signed.
3. Notify the Tenant of the Eviction
When you are writing any kind of notice to your tenant, you should make sure that you are clearly stating what the notice is for. In this case, the first sentence of your letter should state that it is an Eviction Notice, and give a date the tenant has to vacate the premises by.
Most jurisdictions have their own rules regarding how much time you need to give your tenant to vacate the property, so you can check your local landlord/tenant advisory board or consult legal counsel if you are unsure how much notice you are required to give.
4. Give a Reason for the Eviction
The next piece of information your letter should state is a reason for evicting your tenant. You may want to list more than one reason if necessary. Common reasons for eviction include:
- Non-payment of rent
- Intentional substantial damage to the premises
- Violence or threats towards the landlord or other tenants
- Noise violations
- Performing illegal activity on the premises
Each reason you list should have detailed information with it. As an example, if you are evicting your tenant because they didn’t pay their rent, list the dates that they missed their rent payments and the total amount owed, including any applicable late fees.
Be sure the reason for eviction is legitimate and legal in your jurisdiction. For instance, you can’t evict someone because of their race, national origin, skin color, religion, sex, disability, or familial status (e.g. married or single tenants, tenants with children).
5. Serve the Eviction Notice to the Tenant(s)
The final step is to serve the Eviction Notice to your tenant. Generally, eviction notices can be put on the property (usually on the front entrance to the dwelling) or delivered directly to any adult tenant living on the property and listed on the lease. However, depending on the area the rental property is located in, you may need to serve the notice in a specific way. For example, having local law enforcement post the notice or obtaining a court order.
Evicting a Tenant
Although it’s not usually an easy decision to evict a tenant, it is sometimes necessary. When writing an Eviction Notice, it’s important that the content is clear, concise, and professional so that the process of evicting your tenant can proceed as smoothly as possible.