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Notice to Vacate Rental Property

Looking for a notice to vacate rental property sample, to write one of your own? Here's an article on how you can go about writing one, followed by two samples for your reference.
Arjun Kulkarni
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2018
Are you a tenant looking to vacate the premises you have currently rented? Or are you a landlord miffed with an annoying tenant, thanks to his late rent payments and noisy parties which start in the middle of the night and don't stop till the cock crows in the morning? Either way, an official letter (handwritten or typed) needs to be composed and dished out (usually) a month in advance. This is important, especially if you are the landlord, as the tenant needs to be given at least a month's time to look for an alternative accommodation.

On the other hand, even if you are the tenant, the landlord needs a notice that you are vacating his property, in advance, so that he too has the time to find an alternative tenant in the meanwhile.

Landlords: Legally Speaking

The law of the land says that while you are completely entitled to pull this trouble-making chap off your land, it is only fair that you serve a notice declaring your intentions clearly before asking him to bundle up his belongings and take them along with his raucous personality someplace else. This leaves the tenant with 2 options.
  1. He can do the right thing, stomach the blow and look around for a new place.
    OR
  2. Completely ignore the letter, in which case, you may issue court proceedings for evicting this troublesome fellow. The court, of course, will entertain your plea only if you have sent this eviction notice a month in advance, and the tenant continues to ignore it.
Of course the reason(s) for asking a tenant to vacate can be other things too, like you may need the property for personal use, or may even want to give it to someone else for whatever reason.

Tenants: Legally Speaking

Tenants can vacate a rented premises anytime they want. The reason of vacating need not be specified in the notice, since it is none of the landlord's business. Tenants too need to issue such a notice one month in advance. If the tenant fails to issue a notice in advance, he may be liable to pay the rent of the remaining lease term to the landlord. The notice period in most US states is required to be one rental month or one rental cycle (which is normally one month).

As the tenant, you are either responsible for the upkeep and repairs needed to the property or are required to notify the landlord when such a need arises. Hence, mention in the notice, the need to meet the landlord on a date and time convenient to both, before you vacate the premises, to get the state of property checked, so that the responsibility of the damages that happen to the property after you leave should not fall upon you.

Reasons for Vacating

A tenant may have his reasons to vacate a rented premises; he may have rented or bought another property. The tenant may not be happy with the state of the property. Although, the tenant is never required to specify the reason for vacating the premises, he can include it in the notice if he shares an informal relationship with the landlord.

Most property owners in the United States often issue three common types of notices:
  1. Pay or Quit: The landlord issues a notice to the tenant citing rent payment defaults, and allots him a certain period (usually ranging between 3 days to a week) to pay the outstanding amount.
  2. Cure or Quit: When the tenant may have defaulted on one or more clauses in the lease agreement, the landlord issues him this notice with a certain period (usually ranging between 3 days to a week) to cure (correct) the violation.
  3. Unconditional Quit: This notice simply asks the tenant to vacate the premises and offers no chance for payment or correction of violations. In most US states, the unconditional quit notice is allowed to be served to a tenant when:
    • The tenant has a substantial amount of outstanding rent payment pending or has defaulted on the rent payment deadline on more than one occasion.
    • The landlord is not happy with the tenant's behavioral conduct, and wants to get his property free of any sort of nuisance.
    • The tenant has caused damage to the property or violated one of the clauses in the lease agreement.
    • The tenant has indulged in or allowed indulgence of illegal activity on the rented premises.
    • The landlord has planned demolition, reconstruction or renovation of the premises.
    • The landlord himself, landlord's family or relatives, plan to move into the premises.
    • The landlord wants to use the premises for some other purpose, for example, running a business or storing wares.
The landlord may or may not be needed to specify the reason for such a notice in the notice itself, depending upon the legal gravity of the situation. Hence, it is best to consult a lawyer or legal expert before drafting such a notice, if you are in any such doubt.

Property Vacating Intimation to Landlord

Date:
Place:
From,
(tenant's details)
Name
Address:
City:
State:
Re: Intimation about vacating property

To,
Mr./Ms. (landlord's name),
(landlord's details)
Name
Address:
City:
State:

This letter is to intimate you that I will be vacating your property on (date). This letter serves as my (number of days)-days prior notice. My forwarding address will be (new address), and I can be reached at (phone number), in case I am needed post, me vacating your property.

As I have served the prior notice for vacating property, I would also like to claim the security deposit of (amount) paid by me at the start of the lease, given that the apartment is in good condition. Please arrange for a mutually convenient time and date for a final inspection of the condition of said property and handing over of keys.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
(your name)

Property Vacating Notice to Tenant

Date:
Place:
From,
(landlord's details)
Name
Address:
City:
State:
Re: Notice to vacate property

To,
Mr./Ms. (tenant),
(tenant's details)
Name
Address:
City:
State:

Please take notice that I am ending your rental of my property located at (property address). This letter also serves as a notice to vacate the property within (number of days) days of writing this letter.

Optional Paragraph: The reason for the untimely termination of your rental is (reason). I hope this shouldn't be a problem, and you vacate the property within the given notice period.

You are requested to look for another accommodation for yourself during the notice period. Your rent and relevant bills will be payable until the day you vacate the property. Keys to the apartment and other keys and belongings owned by the landlord (me, the undersigned) should be returned upon vacating the property.

Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
(your name)

General Tips

The language of addressing in such letters is usually kept formal and business-like. Use a business letterhead and formal writing stationery, so that the notice appears like you mean business, and no unnecessary flexibility or loose corners will be allowed. Dates, names and addresses should be written fully (as mentioned on the lease agreement; avoid shortcuts and nicks). Photocopies of the notice should be retained before handing them over or posting them to the prospective receiver. If you are posting or couriering your notice, preserve a copy of the acknowledgment receipt with you, at least until the deadline date mentioned in the notice. If you are planning to use legal terminologies and citations in the notice, it is best to consult a lawyer before drafting the notice, or get it drafted from a lawyer or legal expert itself. Sign the notice at the very end, and wherever the notice needs your mention, refer to yourself as 'I, the undersigned'.

Apart from serving as the purpose of intimation for terminating a rental agreement, such a letter also serves as an important legal document. Put pen to paper and start writing right away then!