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Writing a notice to vacate letter can be a delicate process, but you do not need to overly complicate things. When the time has come for one of your tenants to move on to a new location, a well-written notice to vacate letter can make the entire process of wrapping up a lease smoother. Conversely, if you are a tenant looking to notify your landlord that they need to start seeking new tenants, the notice to vacate letter can formally inform them of your intentions.

Notice requirements are governed by landlord-tenant law in addition to your lease. Each state may have its own requirements, and the timeframe can change based on your lease term. Ensure you comply with your local laws when providing a notice to vacate letter.

Both landlords and tenants will benefit by being prepared to write a notice to vacate letter. When drafting this important document, each party will want to make sure they cross all their t’s and dot all their i’s. Because a lease is a legal contract, the legality of your termination notice can be questioned if you do not take care to correctly state your intentions.

Read on to learn how to draft a perfect notice to vacate letter.

What Is a Notice To Vacate Letter?

A notice to vacate letter is a formal lease termination letter from either a landlord or a tenant. The notice to vacate informs the other party that you intend to end a residential lease agreement. In addition, it will clearly state the date on which the relationship between the landlord and the tenant will cease.

Difference Between Termination and Eviction

In most cases, a notice to vacate letter is sent to terminate a lease agreement. However, landlords can use a notice to vacate letter during eviction proceedings.

Termination is simply the end of a lease. Despite its sound, most residential lease terminations are cordial. One party informs the other that they do not intend to renew a lease, and both parties go on their way. In this case, a notice to vacate letter is only a formal statement of your intentions.

On the other hand, an eviction notice is part of a court-governed process to remove a tenant from a rental unit. A formal eviction can end with law enforcement forcefully denying a tenant access to the property.

Reason To Vacate

A well-designed notice to vacate letter will indicate the reason you are ending the lease. In the most common case, the reason is simply that you do not intend to renew the lease. For example, a tenant may have bought a house or transferred to a new city. A notice to vacate can also begin the process of ending a month-to-month tenancy.

However, notice to vacate letters can also be used if one party broke the lease terms. For example, if your tenant is violating the lease, such as by keeping a pet, you can send a notice to vacate letter for this reason.

Finally, some states do not require a reason for sending a notice to vacate, so long as proper notice is given.

Tenant to Landlord Vacate Letter

Tenants can send their landlord a notice to vacate letter because they do not intend to renew the lease at its expiration. They also can send the letter if the landlord has failed to keep the property habitable.

Landlord to Tenant Vacate Letter

Landlords send notice to vacate letters if they want to rent to new tenants, possibly at a higher price once the lease expires. They also can send the letters if they intend to take the property off the market or if the tenant has broken material lease terms.

Who Can Write a Notice To Vacate Letter?

To write a notice to vacate letter, you will need to be either a landlord or a tenant in a lease agreement. Some short-term tenancies do not have written lease agreements, but a formal notice to vacate letter is still advisable. Additionally, suppose your reasons to end the lease involve broken terms or acrimonious circumstances. In that case, you may want to consider having an attorney draft the notice to vacate letter on your behalf.

When To Give Notice To Vacate

Based on the length of your lease, its terms, and your state and local laws, you need to provide notice before the end of your lease. Typically, the required notice is either 30 or 60 days for most residential lease agreements.

How To Write a Notice To Vacate to a Landlord

If you are a tenant, you will want to start by reading the lease agreement. Usually, it will contain terms for property notifying your landlord of your intention to vacate. Then write a formal letter, either a 60-day notice or 30-day notice, based on the length of the lease and your state law. Include the property’s address, the date you will vacate, a forwarding address, and information on where to send your security deposit.

How To Write a Notice To Vacate to a Tenant

Landlords need to be especially aware of the laws regarding when they need to notify tenants of their intention to end the lease. The longer the term of the lease, typically the more notice required. But be sure to check the laws of your state.

Write a formal letter that clearly lists the move-out date, the date the final rent is due, and expectations for what fixtures are to remain with the unit. Also include a section about returning the apartment to its pre-rental state, including cleaning.

FAQs About Notice To Vacate Letters

  • Where To Send a Notice to Vacate?

    Send the notice to vacate to the address in the lease agreement where each party agrees to receive communications. For tenants, this is typically the apartment itself.

  • Is a Notice To Vacate for Cause the Same As an Eviction Notice?

    No. Eviction is a court-mandated removal. Notice to vacate only provides a move-out date. If a tenant holds over after that date, then eviction may be required.

  • Is It Possible To Rescind a Notice To Vacate?

    A notice to vacate letter can be rescinded if both parties agree to extend or rework the lease. For instance, a landlord may send a notice to vacate letter but rescind it if the tenant offers to pay more rent in a new lease.

    To avoid any penalties or problems, draft a formal notice to vacate letter with plenty of time before any deadlines. A well-drafted notice to vacate letter can clarify when the lease ends, the expectations of each party, and how to pay any leftover amounts, whether rent or security deposits.