Evicting a tenant is rarely a pleasant experience but unfortunately, if you're a landlord, it is almost inevitable at some point. When a tenant fails to pay his rent, he is in violation of the rental agreement and because of this, eviction is often necessary. Eviction notices tell the tenant that he has violated the terms of the lease and include a way to resolve the issue within a specified period of time. If the issue is not resolved and the tenant still resides on the property, the process of eviction begins.
Review the landlord-tenant laws that apply to the state where the rental property is located. Each state has its own guidelines and procedures regarding the eviction process. It is important that as a landlord, you know and understand these laws in order to go about the eviction process legally and with little hassle. Landlord-tenant laws by state are posted online on sites including landlordassociation.com, rentalprop.com and landlord.com (see links in Resources below).
Add the date to the top-left area of the page. Beneath the date, include your name and beneath your name, add your address. Include a phone number where you may be reached below the address. Add a few line breaks and type out the tenant's name and address on the rental property on successive lines.
Type out the beginning of your letter by starting with a salutation ("Dear [Tenant],") beneath the address of the rental property. Add a page break by pressing "Enter" or "Return" on your keyboard.
Notify the tenant in the letter that he has violated the terms of his lease and include the reason (i.e. rent in default, property damage, non-payment of utilities). Be as specific as possible, for example, including the number of days he is late on the rent, the amount owed, the property which was damaged and/or the utilities that have been shut off. Add the date of the beginning of the lease and the tenant's name as it appears on the rental agreement.
Inform the tenant of the steps she must take in order to resolve the situation without having to take legal action. Depending on the state, a three, fourteen, twenty-eight, thirty or sixty-day notice may be given. Non-payment of rent, utilities, late fees and non-monetary obligations typically call for a three-day notice. If property has been damaged, provide an estimate of the damages (along with pictures if possible) and explain that the payment must be received by a set date or else you have no choice but to begin the eviction process. Don't forget to include an address where payments may be sent and a phone number where you may be reached.
End the letter by typing out your name. Beneath your name, in black ink pen, include your signature. It is important that it is written in black ink as it is likely that the letter will be photocopied.
Make at least three copies of the letter. Serve the tenant with the original. If the tenant fails to answer his door when you deliver the letter, it may be taped to the door in a visible area.
Mail the letter by certified mail through your local post office.
- sad woman leaving home image by bawinner from Fotolia.com