As a landlord, part of the job is dealing with renter turnover. Whether a tenant’s lease is up, issues have arisen, or you found a more suitable renter, you need to know how to write a notice to vacate.
In most states, both landlords and tenants can send a notice to vacate informing the other party about a specific move-out date. There are different types of notices to vacate, and the differences between them can be confusing. Use the guide below to understand the different types of notices along with actionable tips on how to write them. Also, feel free to use our downloadable templates below.
What is a notice to vacate?
A notice to vacate is a legal written document from a landlord to a tenant or vice versa that informs the other party of a move-out date from an apartment, condo, house, or any residential rental property. A notice to vacate letter provides the tenant adequate time to prepare for their move. It can also give the landlord enough time to plan renovations and begin prospecting tenants. If the notice to vacate comes from the tenant to the landlord, the letter should state where to send the security deposit if no property damage occurred outside of normal wear and tear.
When is a notice to vacate needed?
Usually, notices to vacate are sent 30, 60, or 90 days in advance of the lease termination date. The lease’s termination date should be in the lease agreement. If a landlord or tenant decides to break the lease agreement before the agreed-upon termination date, a notice to vacate will still be required. Regardless of the situation, review the lease so that you know the number of days needed to give notice without penalty.
When it comes to notices to vacate timelines, you must know both your rights and your state and local laws. Understanding this information will help determine when a notice to vacate must be sent.
Notice to vacate letter template from a landlord to a tenant
If you’re a landlord needing to write a notice to vacate, use the sample template below. Simply copy and paste the template into a Google Doc or Word document, and fill out the fields with your information. Then, send the completed letter to your tenant via mail or by dropping it off at their unit or premises.
Again, make sure to review the lease agreement along with your state and local laws to make sure you accurately enter all necessary information.
[Leading Office Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
_ _ Day Notice to Vacate
Tenant Name(s): ______________________________
Rental Address: ______________________________
Date of Notice: _____________
To the above tenant and all others in possession of the described premises. You are hereby given notice to quit, vacate, and deliver possession of the above premises within _ _ days from the service of this notice.
(Optional) You are being vacated for the following reason(s):
It is understood and agreed upon in the lease signed [ _ _/_ _/_ _ _ _ ] that the tenant is responsible for all repairs and cleaning to restore the above premises to move-in condition (after accounting normal wear and tear).
If failure, refusal, or neglect to complete rent payments, cure the breach, or vacate said premises within _ _ days from this service notice, the leasing office and property management of _____________________ will take legal action as the law requires to evict you and all others from the premises.
Your security deposit of $___________ will be returned in full, partially, or not at all depending on the condition of the premises.
Landlord Name: _____________________
Landlord Signature: _____________________
Landlord Address: _____________________________________________________________
Notice to vacate letter template from a tenant to a landlord
If you’re a tenant and are unsure how to write a notice to vacate, then use the sample template below.
Simply copy and paste the template into a Google Doc. or Word document and complete the fields with all necessary information. Then, email the letter to your landlord or the property management team. For extra precautions, you can also send the letter by mail or drop it off at the leasing office.
[City, State, Zip Code]
Re: Notice of Intent to Vacate
Dear [landlord or property manager’s name],
This letter shall serve as my written notice to vacate on [DD/MM/YYYY]. I request to vacate and terminate the lease which was signed and agreed upon on [start of lease date].
I will be moving out of the property at [current full address], at the latest, by [DD/MM/YYYY].
I would like to schedule a move-out walkthrough the week prior to my move for a full inspection of the unit. Please contact me via email at [email address] to schedule a walkthrough.
I believe the property to be in good condition and anticipate my security deposit of [$(amount agreed to in the lease)] will be refunded in full to me.
My security deposit can be sent [new address: number and street name, unit/apt., city, state, zip code].
[Full name and signature]
Types of notices to vacate
There are several types of notices to vacate letters for different scenarios. The below sections will help both landlords and tenants differentiate between these types of notices and when to write which one.
Landlord to tenant: cause notice to vacate
A notice to vacate with cause from a landlord to a tenant usually occurs when a tenant has violated the lease agreement such as failure to pay rent, subletting the property without prior consent, having unauthorized pets or guests, or other lease violations. Consider a cause notice to vacate as a warning rather than an eviction notice, which typically occurs when a tenant remains at the property after their lease expires or has been terminated.
As a landlord, when you draft a cause notice to vacate you must often specify the amount of time to correct the wrongdoing or issue that violated the lease agreement. For example, if a tenant fails to pay rent, landlords typically give a set number of days (3–5) for the tenant to make payment along with any late penalty fees.
Tenant to landlord: Cause notice to vacate
A cause notice to terminate the lease from a tenant to his or her landlord occurs when the landlord has broken the lease agreement or the premise has become uninhabitable or unsafe. For instance, the property became uninhabitable due to critical repairs that were not promptly fixed. Other examples of these critical repairs are not repairing a broken HVAC system or failing to deal with pest infestations or an unusable toilet.
Both landlords and tenants should know which repairs are deemed critical and non-critical. Critical repairs such as a broken HVAC system during the winter or summer should be fixed within 1–7 days. While non-critical repairs like dripping faucets, minor broken appliances, or screen tears have a longer time frame such as 10–30 days.
Tenant to landlord: No-cause notice to vacate
A notice to vacate without cause from a tenant to a landlord is the most common notice to vacate letter. Oftentimes, these notices to vacate are sent a specific number of days before the lease ends. Or, they are sent due to circumstances outside of the landlord’s control and the tenant simply wants to or must break the lease. In either case, the no-cause notice serves as a termination letter informing the landlord that a tenant will not be renewing his or her lease and plans to move out of the rental property.
Note that a no-cause notice to vacate from a landlord is uncommon. It does happen in situations where the landlord wants to either move someone else or themselves back into the premises, they plan to fix or remodel the property, or they hope to sell the property.
30-day vs. 60-day notice
The two most commonly used notices to vacate forums are 30-day and 60-day notices. It’s uncommon, but some laws require lease agreements to give 90-day notices — these typically occur with subsidized housing. The number of days you must deliver the notice to vacate will largely depend on your local and state laws.
It is recommended that both tenants and landlords give as much time as possible to prepare for vacating a property. Giving ample notice helps ensure that things end amicably.
Notice to vacate letter tips
- Double-check ahead of time when you need to send a notice to vacate. As a tenant, you can incur an extra month’s rent and other fees if your notice is not sent before the 30, 60, or 90-day period stated in your lease. As a landlord, make sure you adhere to all local and state laws.
- Write politely. A notice to vacate can be emotional for the other person. Therefore, try to lessen the burden by being straightforward. This notice to vacate letter is not the time to raise complaints or past issues
- If you’re a tenant, make sure to include a forwarding address to receive your direct deposit. If your next address is unknown, simply follow up with your landlord by phone, email, or letter once a new address is established.
- Include a date on your notice to vacate letter. This date will ensure you met the notice period or deadline according to the lease agreement.
Frequently asked questions
How to send a notice to vacate letter?
Sometimes notices to vacate can be emotional, especially if they are sent from the landlord to the tenant. It is best to avoid sending these notices in person. Instead, slip the notice under a tenant’s door, securely clip or tape it to their front door, or personally place it in their mailbox. If you are a tenant sending a notice to vacate to your landlord or property manager, it can either be emailed or placed in the leasing office’s mailbox.
Is a notice to vacate with cause the same as an eviction notice?
A notice to vacate with cause from a landlord to a tenant is not the same as an eviction notice. Think of this type of notice as a way to establish what the tenant did wrong and a timeline to resolve the issue or terminate the lease. An eviction notice should only be delivered once the lease has been terminated, but the resident still resides at the property.
Can notices to vacate be rescinded?
If you have found another tenant and the tenant has signed a lease agreement, then the notice to vacate cannot be rescinded. However, if a new tenant has not been found, you can consider working with the current tenant to discuss renewal opportunities or ways to re-lease the property.
Tenant turnover can be burdensome, especially if you have difficult or unreliable tenants. One way to better filter your tenants and decrease turnover is to use RentSpree’s tenant screening services. These tenant screening services make it easy to check credit and eviction reports, and you can verify proof of income.