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Do you have a tenant and want them to vacate due to the challenges you have with them? Are you wondering which document to send to ensure you follow the proper legal process? As a landlord, you are obligated by state laws to inform the tenant in writing of your decision to have them vacate.

Depending on the eviction stage, you must send a Notice to Vacate or Eviction Notice. You send the former before going to court, while the latter is sent after receiving a court order.

Understanding the difference between these two documents will help you make the right decision and include the correct information. In this article, we will explain in detail the difference between a Notice to Vacate and the Eviction Notice in order to help you cover all legal grounds and get your tenant to move out.

What Is a Notice to Vacate?

A Notice to Vacate is a legal document sent by the landlord to the tenant stating that they have canceled the rental agreement and want a tenant to move out of the premises by a specific date. All states allow landlords to send a Notice to Vacate when the tenant:

  • Fails to pay the rent
  • Damages the property
  • Brings guests to live in the house for an extended period
  • Has unauthorized pets on the premises
  • Performs illegal activity in the rental unit

In most states, landlords are allowed to evict tenants without a cause, but other state laws, such as Californian law, restrict tenant evictions, and a no-cause notice to vacate is not accepted until you give a specific reason.

A Notice to Vacate can also be sent by a tenant when they plan to move out of a rental unit. It gives the landlord sufficient time to prepare for a vacancy and look for a new tenant.

What Is an Eviction?

An eviction is a court-ordered forcible removal of a tenant from a rental unit, whether the rental agreement has expired. The eviction process begins when a landlord sends a Notice to Vacate, and the tenant does not rectify the errors listed in the notice or fails to vacate the premises. Afterward, some landlords send a Notice to Motion letter, informing the tenant that they are taking them to court for refusing to adhere to the Notice to Vacate.

After you file the case, the judge hears your testimony, reviews the evidence, and decides whether to permit you to remove the tenant forcibly. When granted, the eviction will be carried out by law enforcement officers. Often, a landlord's request for eviction may be denied if they violated The Fair Housing Act.

Get an Eviction Notice Template

Difference Between Notice to Vacate and Eviction

A landlord's success in having a tenant vacate the premises sooner than later depends on the document sent at every stage of the eviction process. Serving an Eviction to a tenant without sending a Notice to Vacate may lead to court penalties.

You may be ordered to restart the eviction process or give your tenant more time to move out. To help you get it right, the following table summarizes the differences between a Notice to Vacate and an Eviction.

Notice to Vacate Eviction
Delivered before filing an eviction lawsuit Delivered after succeeding in an eviction lawsuit
It allows a tenant to correct the mistakes Rare opportunity to correct mistakes
It does not require a law enforcement officer to deliver Most states require a law enforcement officer to deliver the document
The tenant can fight the eviction in court The tenant may fail to win a case after an eviction is served
Gives a tenant more time to prepare to vacate (14–60 days) Gives a tenant limited time to vacate (3–14 days)

What to Include in a Notice to Vacate vs. Eviction

In some situations, landlords fail to win an eviction case because they do not know how to write a Notice to Vacate Letter or are unfamiliar with it. To ensure your Notice to Vacate is acceptable to the court, you must include the following information:

  • Basic identifying information: Include the tenant's information to avoid confusion and ensure it passes legal scrutiny. This information includes the tenant's and landlord's information, tenancy period, and property address.
  • Termination information: Include all the reasons you want the tenant to vacate. Whether you do not wish to renew the lease or they have violated the lease agreement, explain your reasons clearly and accurately. If it is an amendable issue, explain what needs to be done to avoid eviction.
  • Vacating date and move-out process: Include the date you want the tenant to have moved out, when you will inspect the property and how or when they will receive their security deposit.
  • Questions and concerns: Include a statement saying they can reach you with any questions or concerns. Allowing an opportunity for questions will minimize conflict or miscommunication.

An Eviction slightly differs from a Notice to Vacate in that it includes the court eviction information and the action that will be taken against the tenant if they fail to move out by the specified date.

How to Deliver the Notice to Vacate vs. Eviction

The Notice to Vacate delivery process should be done according to the applicable landlord-tenant laws. If not, you may lose your lawsuit if the case goes to court. Every state has specific methods to deliver a Notice to Vacate, including hand delivery, posting on the property, delivery via certified mail, or as per the rental agreement.

On the other hand, an eviction is often served by a law enforcement officer, such as the Sheriff or Constable. They can post it on the property or deliver it by hand. If the tenant fails to comply with the court order, the officers are obliged to evict them by force.

An online template can be handy if you are struggling with knowing how to form some of these crucial documents related to the eviction process. Create your Eviction Notice, Late Rent Notice, or Lease Termination Letter now.

Helpful Resources:
California Civil Code | California Gov
Fair Housing Act | Justice
landlord-tenant law | Cornell

Do you have a tenant and want them to vacate due to the challenges you have with them? Are you wondering which document to send to ensure you follow the proper legal process? As a landlord, you are obligated by state laws to inform the tenant in writing of your decision to have them vacate.

Depending on the eviction stage, you must send a Notice to Vacate or Eviction Notice. You send the former before going to court, while the latter is sent after receiving a court order.

Understanding the difference between these two documents will help you make the right decision and include the correct information. In this article, we will explain in detail the difference between a Notice to Vacate and the Eviction Notice in order to help you cover all legal grounds and get your tenant to move out.

What Is a Notice to Vacate?

A Notice to Vacate is a legal document sent by the landlord to the tenant stating that they have canceled the rental agreement and want a tenant to move out of the premises by a specific date. All states allow landlords to send a Notice to Vacate when the tenant:

  • Fails to pay the rent
  • Damages the property
  • Brings guests to live in the house for an extended period
  • Has unauthorized pets on the premises
  • Performs illegal activity in the rental unit

In most states, landlords are allowed to evict tenants without a cause, but other state laws, such as Californian law, restrict tenant evictions, and a no-cause notice to vacate is not accepted until you give a specific reason.

A Notice to Vacate can also be sent by a tenant when they plan to move out of a rental unit. It gives the landlord sufficient time to prepare for a vacancy and look for a new tenant.

What Is an Eviction?

An eviction is a court-ordered forcible removal of a tenant from a rental unit, whether the rental agreement has expired. The eviction process begins when a landlord sends a Notice to Vacate, and the tenant does not rectify the errors listed in the notice or fails to vacate the premises. Afterward, some landlords send a Notice to Motion letter, informing the tenant that they are taking them to court for refusing to adhere to the Notice to Vacate.

After you file the case, the judge hears your testimony, reviews the evidence, and decides whether to permit you to remove the tenant forcibly. When granted, the eviction will be carried out by law enforcement officers. Often, a landlord's request for eviction may be denied if they violated The Fair Housing Act.

Get an Eviction Notice Template

Difference Between Notice to Vacate and Eviction

A landlord's success in having a tenant vacate the premises sooner than later depends on the document sent at every stage of the eviction process. Serving an Eviction to a tenant without sending a Notice to Vacate may lead to court penalties.

You may be ordered to restart the eviction process or give your tenant more time to move out. To help you get it right, the following table summarizes the differences between a Notice to Vacate and an Eviction.

Notice to Vacate Eviction
Delivered before filing an eviction lawsuit Delivered after succeeding in an eviction lawsuit
It allows a tenant to correct the mistakes Rare opportunity to correct mistakes
It does not require a law enforcement officer to deliver Most states require a law enforcement officer to deliver the document
The tenant can fight the eviction in court The tenant may fail to win a case after an eviction is served
Gives a tenant more time to prepare to vacate (14–60 days) Gives a tenant limited time to vacate (3–14 days)

What to Include in a Notice to Vacate vs. Eviction

In some situations, landlords fail to win an eviction case because they do not know how to write a Notice to Vacate Letter or are unfamiliar with it. To ensure your Notice to Vacate is acceptable to the court, you must include the following information:

  • Basic identifying information: Include the tenant's information to avoid confusion and ensure it passes legal scrutiny. This information includes the tenant's and landlord's information, tenancy period, and property address.
  • Termination information: Include all the reasons you want the tenant to vacate. Whether you do not wish to renew the lease or they have violated the lease agreement, explain your reasons clearly and accurately. If it is an amendable issue, explain what needs to be done to avoid eviction.
  • Vacating date and move-out process: Include the date you want the tenant to have moved out, when you will inspect the property and how or when they will receive their security deposit.
  • Questions and concerns: Include a statement saying they can reach you with any questions or concerns. Allowing an opportunity for questions will minimize conflict or miscommunication.

An Eviction slightly differs from a Notice to Vacate in that it includes the court eviction information and the action that will be taken against the tenant if they fail to move out by the specified date.

How to Deliver the Notice to Vacate vs. Eviction

The Notice to Vacate delivery process should be done according to the applicable landlord-tenant laws. If not, you may lose your lawsuit if the case goes to court. Every state has specific methods to deliver a Notice to Vacate, including hand delivery, posting on the property, delivery via certified mail, or as per the rental agreement.

On the other hand, an eviction is often served by a law enforcement officer, such as the Sheriff or Constable. They can post it on the property or deliver it by hand. If the tenant fails to comply with the court order, the officers are obliged to evict them by force.

An online template can be handy if you are struggling with knowing how to form some of these crucial documents related to the eviction process. Create your Eviction Notice, Late Rent Notice, or Lease Termination Letter now.

Helpful Resources:
California Civil Code | California Gov
Fair Housing Act | Justice
landlord-tenant law | Cornell