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One of the biggest errors that you can make as a landlord is the failure to choose the right eviction notice for your state. Each state has its own very specific rules on what constitutes a fair and legitimate eviction; confusing these can lead to legal and logistical headaches.

Of course, an eviction is a legal process. Therefore it is absolutely essential for landlords to follow their state’s regulations on serving an eviction notice correctly. Failure to do so can delay the process of getting a tenant to vacate and can lead to costly legal fees.

To help explain what property owners must consider before evicting a rental tenant this article looks at some of these state eviction law idiosyncrasies. Read on to find out the most important eviction statutes that could affect how you must serve an eviction notice.

What Reasons Can a Landlord Give to Evict a Tenant?

The most important factor you must consider when you prepare your eviction notice is the reason that you wish to remove your tenant. You must always provide a legally appropriate reason to evict or the tenant could challenge the termination of the lease in court.

In most states, you will be permitted to evict a tenant if:

  • They don’t pay their rent
  • They violate the terms of the lease agreement
  • The lease or rental agreement lapses
  • Tenants are committing illegal activity or substantial damage to the premises

Naturally, you must always provide proper evidence of any violations. When you fill in an eviction notice using our contract maker online instructional guide, you will normally be prompted to provide key details on when and how any contractual breaches were committed by the tenant during the process.

How Much Notice Must Landlords Give Their Tenants of an Eviction?

How much notice you give a tenant before they must vacate your rental property or you serve a lawsuit against them will ultimately depend on the reason you are evicting them in the state that the property is located.

Additionally, landlords must also remember that the Notice to Quit must be served in a legally appropriate manner or the notice will be voided. Usually, states require the person serving the notice to deliver it personally, by certified mail or via a process delivery server.

Despite what is sometimes portrayed in movies and TV shows, you must not under any circumstances forcibly enter the property of the tenant you are evicting. It is also usually unnecessary to nail a notice to the door of the property unless it has proven impossible to make contact with the tenant using other methods of service (depending on the state of course).

Read more: Eviction process in 5 steps

Eviction Notices by State

The table below details more about what each state government requires from landlords. This can be used as a quick reference for what is expected from property owners looking to serve eviction notices to tenants:

State Accepted Delivery Method Days to Pay or Vacate Days to Cure or Vacate Laws
Alabama - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

7 days 14 days § 35-9A-421(b), § 35-9A-421(a)
Alaska - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

7 days 7 days AS 34.03.220(b), AS 34.03.160
Arizona - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days (week-to-week tenancy)

30 days (month-to-month)

§ 33-1368(2b), § 33-1368(A)
Arkansas - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

3 days 14 days § 18-60-304(3), § 18-17-901
California - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

3 days 3 days CCP § 1161(2), CCP §1161(3)
Colorado - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 13-40-104
Connecticut - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days (non-curable, served 9 days after missed payment) 3 days (non-curable, served 9 days after missed payment) § 47a-23
Delaware - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 7 days Title 25 § 5502, 25 § 5513
District of Columbia - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

30 days 30 days DC Law 22-245
Florida - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Delivery as specified in the tenant’s lease

3 days 7 days § 83.56(3), § 83.56(1)
Georgia - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

7 days (after receiving a Dispossessory procedure summons) No specified period § 44-7-50
Hawaii - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days § 521-68, § 521-72
Idaho - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice in the local newspaper AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

3 days 3 days § 6-303(2), § 6-303(3)
Illinois - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days 735 ILCS 5/9-209, 735 ILCS 5/9-210
Indiana - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

10 days A reasonable period to cure the breach IC 32-31-1-6
Iowa - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

3 days 7 days § 562a.27(2), § 562A.27(1)
Kansas - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

10 days 14 days *§ 58-2507, *§ 58-2564(1)
Kentucky - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

7 days 14 days By county
Louisiana - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

- Registered/certified mail (New Orleans East Bank only)

5 days 5 days CCP 4701
Maine - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

7 days (served 7 days after non-payment) 7 days Title 14 § 6002, § 6025 & § 6002
Maryland - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

Not necessary 30 days (non-curable)

14 days if there is a risk of immediate danger to health

§ 8-401, § 8–402.1
Massachusetts - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

14 days No specified period Chapter 186, Section 11
Michigan - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

7 days No specified period § 554.134(2), § 600.5714 and § 554.134(4)
Minnesota - Hand delivery 14 days No specified period § 504B.135(b)
Mississippi - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property (nonpayment of rent only)

- Posting the notice in the local newspaper (if other methods fail)

3 days 30 days § 89-7-27, § 89-8-13(3)(b)
Missouri - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

Renter may cure non-payment up to 1 day before Unlawful Detainer trial date 10 days § 535.060, § 441.040
Montana - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

3 days 14 days

3 days in the case of unauthorized pets or occupants

§ 70-24-422
Nebraska - Hand delivery

- Delivery by process server

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

3 days 14 days § 76-1431(2), 76-1431(1)
Nevada - Hand delivery 5 days 5 days to quit with 3 days to cure NRS 40.2512
New Hampshire - Hand delivery 7 days 30 days § 540:3
New Jersey - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

Not necessary or 30 days if landlord has accepted late rent previously 30 days § 2A:18-61.2(b)
New Mexico - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

- Leaving a copy with the tenants employer AND mailing copies to the tenant’s last known address AND workplace

3 days 7 days

3 days for an unauthorized occupant

§ 47-8-33, § 47-8-33(b)
New York - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

14 days 30 days

None if illegal activity has been committed on the property

§ 711(2), § 753(4)
North Carolina - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

10 days None or

10 days if substantial damage has been done to the property

§ 42-3, § 42-26
North Dakota - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail to the last known address of the tenant

- Posting the notice on the property (if all other methods fail)

3 days 3 days § 47-32
Ohio - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 1923.02 and § 1923.04, § 1923.04
Oklahoma - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days Title 41 § 131, § 41-132
Oregon - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days (served 7 days after non-payment) 14 days ORS § 90.394, § 90.392
Pennsylvania - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

10 days 15 days (for leases of less than 1 year)

30 days (for leases of over 1 year)

§ 250.501(b)
Rhode Island - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property (if other methods fail)

5 days (served after 15 days of non-payment) 20 days § 34-18-35, § 34-18-36
South Carolina - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Delivery by process server

5 days 14 days § 27-40-710(B), § 27-40-710
South Dakota - Hand delivery (1st attempt)

- Posting the notice in the local newspaper (1st attempt, optional)

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail (2nd attempt)

3 days A reasonable period to cure the breach § 21-16-2(4), § 43-32-18
Tennessee - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy

14 days 30 days § 66-28-505, § 66-7-109
Texas - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 24.005
Utah - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 78B-6-802
Vermont - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

14 days 30 days

14 days if illegal activity has been committed by the tenant

§ 4467
Virginia - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy

5 days 30 days § 55.1-1415, § 55.1-1245
Washington - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail (and leaving a copy with another resident of the property)

3 days 10 days SB-5600, RCW 59.12.030
West Virginia - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

No specified period No specified period § 55-3A-1
Wisconsin - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy

5 days for 1st violation

14 days for 2nd violation

5 days for 1st violation

14 days for 2nd violation

§ 704.17(2)
Wyoming - Hand delivery

- Leaving a copy of the notice on the property with a fellow resident above the age of 14

3 days 3 days § 1-21-1003

Evictions must be handled with care in order for them to proceed successfully. Therefore always check and double check that your eviction notice conforms to your state requirements before you formally serve it to your tenant.

One of the biggest errors that you can make as a landlord is the failure to choose the right eviction notice for your state. Each state has its own very specific rules on what constitutes a fair and legitimate eviction; confusing these can lead to legal and logistical headaches.

Of course, an eviction is a legal process. Therefore it is absolutely essential for landlords to follow their state’s regulations on serving an eviction notice correctly. Failure to do so can delay the process of getting a tenant to vacate and can lead to costly legal fees.

To help explain what property owners must consider before evicting a rental tenant this article looks at some of these state eviction law idiosyncrasies. Read on to find out the most important eviction statutes that could affect how you must serve an eviction notice.

What Reasons Can a Landlord Give to Evict a Tenant?

The most important factor you must consider when you prepare your eviction notice is the reason that you wish to remove your tenant. You must always provide a legally appropriate reason to evict or the tenant could challenge the termination of the lease in court.

In most states, you will be permitted to evict a tenant if:

  • They don’t pay their rent
  • They violate the terms of the lease agreement
  • The lease or rental agreement lapses
  • Tenants are committing illegal activity or substantial damage to the premises

Naturally, you must always provide proper evidence of any violations. When you fill in an eviction notice using our contract maker online instructional guide, you will normally be prompted to provide key details on when and how any contractual breaches were committed by the tenant during the process.

How Much Notice Must Landlords Give Their Tenants of an Eviction?

How much notice you give a tenant before they must vacate your rental property or you serve a lawsuit against them will ultimately depend on the reason you are evicting them in the state that the property is located.

Additionally, landlords must also remember that the Notice to Quit must be served in a legally appropriate manner or the notice will be voided. Usually, states require the person serving the notice to deliver it personally, by certified mail or via a process delivery server.

Despite what is sometimes portrayed in movies and TV shows, you must not under any circumstances forcibly enter the property of the tenant you are evicting. It is also usually unnecessary to nail a notice to the door of the property unless it has proven impossible to make contact with the tenant using other methods of service (depending on the state of course).

Read more: Eviction process in 5 steps

Eviction Notices by State

The table below details more about what each state government requires from landlords. This can be used as a quick reference for what is expected from property owners looking to serve eviction notices to tenants:

State Accepted Delivery Method Days to Pay or Vacate Days to Cure or Vacate Laws
Alabama - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

7 days 14 days § 35-9A-421(b), § 35-9A-421(a)
Alaska - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

7 days 7 days AS 34.03.220(b), AS 34.03.160
Arizona - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days (week-to-week tenancy)

30 days (month-to-month)

§ 33-1368(2b), § 33-1368(A)
Arkansas - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

3 days 14 days § 18-60-304(3), § 18-17-901
California - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

3 days 3 days CCP § 1161(2), CCP §1161(3)
Colorado - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 13-40-104
Connecticut - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days (non-curable, served 9 days after missed payment) 3 days (non-curable, served 9 days after missed payment) § 47a-23
Delaware - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 7 days Title 25 § 5502, 25 § 5513
District of Columbia - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

30 days 30 days DC Law 22-245
Florida - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Delivery as specified in the tenant’s lease

3 days 7 days § 83.56(3), § 83.56(1)
Georgia - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

7 days (after receiving a Dispossessory procedure summons) No specified period § 44-7-50
Hawaii - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days § 521-68, § 521-72
Idaho - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice in the local newspaper AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

3 days 3 days § 6-303(2), § 6-303(3)
Illinois - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days 735 ILCS 5/9-209, 735 ILCS 5/9-210
Indiana - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

10 days A reasonable period to cure the breach IC 32-31-1-6
Iowa - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

3 days 7 days § 562a.27(2), § 562A.27(1)
Kansas - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

10 days 14 days *§ 58-2507, *§ 58-2564(1)
Kentucky - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

7 days 14 days By county
Louisiana - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

- Registered/certified mail (New Orleans East Bank only)

5 days 5 days CCP 4701
Maine - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

7 days (served 7 days after non-payment) 7 days Title 14 § 6002, § 6025 & § 6002
Maryland - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

Not necessary 30 days (non-curable)

14 days if there is a risk of immediate danger to health

§ 8-401, § 8–402.1
Massachusetts - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

14 days No specified period Chapter 186, Section 11
Michigan - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

7 days No specified period § 554.134(2), § 600.5714 and § 554.134(4)
Minnesota - Hand delivery 14 days No specified period § 504B.135(b)
Mississippi - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property (nonpayment of rent only)

- Posting the notice in the local newspaper (if other methods fail)

3 days 30 days § 89-7-27, § 89-8-13(3)(b)
Missouri - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

Renter may cure non-payment up to 1 day before Unlawful Detainer trial date 10 days § 535.060, § 441.040
Montana - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

3 days 14 days

3 days in the case of unauthorized pets or occupants

§ 70-24-422
Nebraska - Hand delivery

- Delivery by process server

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail

3 days 14 days § 76-1431(2), 76-1431(1)
Nevada - Hand delivery 5 days 5 days to quit with 3 days to cure NRS 40.2512
New Hampshire - Hand delivery 7 days 30 days § 540:3
New Jersey - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

Not necessary or 30 days if landlord has accepted late rent previously 30 days § 2A:18-61.2(b)
New Mexico - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

- Leaving a copy with the tenants employer AND mailing copies to the tenant’s last known address AND workplace

3 days 7 days

3 days for an unauthorized occupant

§ 47-8-33, § 47-8-33(b)
New York - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

14 days 30 days

None if illegal activity has been committed on the property

§ 711(2), § 753(4)
North Carolina - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

10 days None or

10 days if substantial damage has been done to the property

§ 42-3, § 42-26
North Dakota - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail to the last known address of the tenant

- Posting the notice on the property (if all other methods fail)

3 days 3 days § 47-32
Ohio - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 1923.02 and § 1923.04, § 1923.04
Oklahoma - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

5 days 10 days Title 41 § 131, § 41-132
Oregon - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days (served 7 days after non-payment) 14 days ORS § 90.394, § 90.392
Pennsylvania - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

10 days 15 days (for leases of less than 1 year)

30 days (for leases of over 1 year)

§ 250.501(b)
Rhode Island - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property (if other methods fail)

5 days (served after 15 days of non-payment) 20 days § 34-18-35, § 34-18-36
South Carolina - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Delivery by process server

5 days 14 days § 27-40-710(B), § 27-40-710
South Dakota - Hand delivery (1st attempt)

- Posting the notice in the local newspaper (1st attempt, optional)

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy by registered/certified mail (2nd attempt)

3 days A reasonable period to cure the breach § 21-16-2(4), § 43-32-18
Tennessee - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy

14 days 30 days § 66-28-505, § 66-7-109
Texas - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 24.005
Utah - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Leaving the notice on the property

3 days 3 days § 78B-6-802
Vermont - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property

14 days 30 days

14 days if illegal activity has been committed by the tenant

§ 4467
Virginia - Hand delivery

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy

5 days 30 days § 55.1-1415, § 55.1-1245
Washington - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail (and leaving a copy with another resident of the property)

3 days 10 days SB-5600, RCW 59.12.030
West Virginia - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

No specified period No specified period § 55-3A-1
Wisconsin - Hand delivery

- Registered/certified mail

- Posting the notice on the property AND mailing a copy

5 days for 1st violation

14 days for 2nd violation

5 days for 1st violation

14 days for 2nd violation

§ 704.17(2)
Wyoming - Hand delivery

- Leaving a copy of the notice on the property with a fellow resident above the age of 14

3 days 3 days § 1-21-1003

Evictions must be handled with care in order for them to proceed successfully. Therefore always check and double check that your eviction notice conforms to your state requirements before you formally serve it to your tenant.