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What is an Eviction Notice?

An eviction notice is typically used by landlords for rental real estate purposes. It is a legally binding document that notifies a tenant that they need to evacuate the premises by a certain date. This document will be the first step in evicting a tenant who may be violating the rules of their contract or lease.

Most states require that an eviction notice be given at least 30 days before the tenant must leave the property. Other real estate laws may need to be followed in the eviction process, so if someone must be evicted, it is best to work with a knowledgeable lawyer and to review your state and local laws very closely; even cities within a state may differ on the process for eviction.

An eviction notice is the first legal action to take in the eviction process. Other forms of eviction are not legal, such as "constructive" eviction, which involves changing the locks or turning off the utility, or physical eviction by removing the tenant's belongings.

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What Is An Eviction Notice?

what is an eviction notice


An eviction notice is the first step in the long and uncomfortable process that is known as eviction. Whether you are booting out a tenant for non-payment of rent, drug trafficking or hoarding rancid milk cartons, you cannot legally evict him or her without first delivering an official eviction notice.

An eviction notice must let the tenant know what conditions have been violated and the amount of time he or she has to rectify the problem. Often this ranges from a week or less for non-payment of rent to between 30 and 60 days for damage, abandonment or other serious grievances.

The exception to this rule is if you do not want your tenant to remain on your property by any means. In this case, you would serve what is called an eviction without consideration. You must file a particular request for this, however.

How does the eviction notice become legally enforceable?

Strictly speaking, the notice itself is not legally enforceable . For it to be used in an eviction court case, there must exist verification that the tenant has read and understood the eviction notice. For this reason, the eviction notice should contain a statement like the following, followed by a space for the tenant’s printed name, date and signature:

I have read and understood the information contained in this eviction notice to the best of my ability.

Once you have delivered an eviction notice, do not forget that this does not mean you can now evict the tenant. An eviction notice is merely a strong warning. If the tenant refuses to comply with or acknowledge the terms of the notice, you have the right to take him or her to court. However, bear in mind that under no circumstances may you attempt to physically remove your tenant. That is the job of an authorized officer of the court.

How do I draw up an eviction notice?

The tricky thing about eviction notice forms is that the language must be formal and clear. A tenant can easily bring down an eviction case by suggesting that the language in the notice of eviction is unclear. To be on the safe side, you might want to use a sample eviction notice as a sort of a template. There are plenty of these easily found on the internet, and many of them are free. Be sure, however, to use a trustworthy source when choosing your sample.

How do I deliver an eviction notice?

Ideally, an eviction notice should be delivered by the landlord to the tenant’s apartment. Ideally, you will hand the notice to the landlord; however, if he or she is not in it should be placed in a highly visible place. The traditional spot is on the front door, though be sure you use good thumbtacks or adhesive!

The Main Components of an Eviction Notice

main components of an eviction notice

Ah. Eviction. The smoothest and least awkward process known to man. I’m kidding, of course.

Whether you’re kicking someone out due to non-payment of rent, a filth problem, or simple political dispute, it’s a highly involved and largely unpleasant process. For this reason, you’ve got to make sure all your ducks are in a row, legally speaking. That means drawing up an official eviction notice and executing it according to federal, state and municipal laws. There isn’t room here to outline all possible laws in depth, but  there is room to break down the main components of an eviction notice. They are as follows:

Put down everybody’s information

State the full addresses and names of all involved parties, particularly the landlord and the tenant. If you’re the landlord of a big building with a lot of units, it’s very important that John E. Smith and John H. Smith do not get mixed up during this process. You should also include the date on which the notice is being issued.

Specify what stage the eviction is at

Does the tenant need to leave? Does he or she owe you money, or has he or she violated the terms of the lease in some other way? Is the eviction notice conditional (ie: can the tenant stay if the violation is alleviated by a certain date) or is this a final notice?

Name the date the eviction notice takes effect

Name the date the tenant must exit/pay up/atone for his or her actions (or lack thereof, in the case of non-payment).

Name the date by which the agreement must be signed.

It is important that your receive acknowledgement from the tenant of his or her receipt of the eviction notice. If a tenant can plead that he or she had no idea of the eviction situation, that will severely weaken your claim in court.

Provide the terms of proof of service if applicable.

In other words, if you’re going to want to use this eviction in court, it is worth getting a commissioner or notary public to sign and help deliver the eviction notice. That will render it a publicly recognized document and legitimate evidence against the tenant.