Eviction Notice

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Eviction Notice

An eviction notice is issued by the landlord to the tenant when the latter violates any clause of the lease agreement. The notice states that the tenant needs to comply with the terms of the agreement failing which the landlord will have to proceed towards the legal eviction process. The clause which has been violated needs to be clearly mentioned in the agreement. A notice can be curable notice or an incurable notice. The curable notice asks the tenant to remedy the problem while an incurable notice requires the tenant to vacate the property. The eviction notice letter cannot be used as a legal document to evict the tenant; a court order will be necessary for a legal eviction. When you have an errant tenant, it is important to serve an eviction notice before taking any legal action. Resorting to any illegal step will go against you as a landlord.

Who Takes the Eviction Notice – People Involved

An eviction notice is usually taken out by the landlord when the tenant breaches any clause in the lease agreement. With this notice, the landlord informs the tenant that a particular clause has not been complied with and that the landlord will be forced to proceed with a formal eviction process.

Purpose of the Eviction Notice – Why Do You Need It

An eviction notice is required when the tenant has violated one or more terms of a rental agreement. Before taking any legal step to evict the tenant, an eviction notice needs to be issued by a landlord to the tenant informing them of the violation. If they fail to comply with the terms of the lease within the notice period, then the landlord will force the tenant to evict them, by proceeding to the court formally. An eviction notice is issued when the landlord is unable to resolve an issue with the tenant amicably. It is not a legal document and cannot be used to force the tenant to move out; it has to be followed by a legal eviction process in a court of law. An eviction notice can be issued even if you don’t have a lease agreement. Documentation is important, so if all communication between the landlord and tenant is documented regarding non-compliance related to the lease agreement, then the landlord stands a fair chance of evicting the tenant. If the landlord tries to evict the tenant through illegal means like threats or turning off utilities, then the court will rule in favor of the tenant.

Contents of the Eviction Notice – Inclusions

An eviction notice includes the names of the parties to the agreement which would be the landlord and tenant. The notice would also include the notice period which would range from 0 to 30 days, date of the lease agreement, the legal reason for wanting to evict the tenant, the amount outstanding if it is a case of outstanding rental including the number of months, the address of the premises concerned, the status of the lease and the concerned state laws with regard to lease agreements which has been breached.

The most common legal reasons to evict a tenant are delayed payment of rent, persistent arrears of rental, violation of the terms of the lease agreement, damage to property or safety or health hazards, illegal use like using a residential property for commercial use, disturbing other tenants or you might require to occupy the property yourself. The specific reason for eviction needs to be mentioned in the agreement.

When it comes to the amount of notice to be given to the tenant, it will vary according to the laws of the state. The notice period for non-payment of rent would be different.

The notice must also contain a certificate of service which mentions the mode by which the notice was served by the landlord to the tenant. The type of eviction notice must also be mentioned, which could either be a 3 day eviction notice or 30 day eviction notice. The facts relating to the eviction must be clearly stated and must be authentic.

How to Draft the Eviction Notice

While drafting an eviction notice, it is important to keep the following points in mind:

  • Parties to the agreement: The names of the parties to the agreement and the relationship between them to be mentioned
  • Specific violation: The specific clause of the rental agreement which has been violated by the tenant, including all related information which should be authentic and supported by proper documents. The violation could be on the grounds of delay in payments, arrear payments, damage to property, health or safety hazards, illegal use of the property or disturbing the neighbors. The dates regarding the events should also be mentioned in the agreement.
  • Location of the premises: The exact location of the premises in question should be mentioned
  • Notice period: The date by which the issue should be fixed by the tenant, and this will be taken as the notice period. When the tenant violates this notice period, then the landlord resorts to legal action.
  • Details of outstanding rental: The amount of rent due to the landlord and the months which it relates to when it comes to outstanding arrears of rental
  • Laws of the state: The laws of the state relating to lease agreements which have been violated by the tenant

Negotiation Strategy

Before proceeding with this notice, the landlord should find out exactly what they want. Is it just the removal of a tenant or some outstanding rental as well? Understand the tenant’s goals, as the tenant might be vacating the premises, or they might require a few more days before vacating the premises.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Eviction Notice

Benefits:

  • Admissible proof in a court of law: The landlord can prove to the court of law that the tenant was given sufficient time and opportunity to mend the breach of contract. Documentary evidence of the exchange of communication between the landlord and the tenant accompany the eviction notice. It contains all the details of the specific clause that was violated
  • The legitimate eviction process: Though the notice by itself is not a legal document, it is the first step in the eviction process without which you cannot evict a tenant. The court will require the landlord to produce a copy of the notice before admitting the case. Trying to evict the tenant without first communicating to the tenant and then sending the eviction notice, would render the eviction null and void.

Drawbacks:

  • Not understanding the intention of the tenant: The tenant might have planned to leave the premises, but when they receive the notice, they might also decide to fight the case. Had the landlord consulted the tenant, then they would have got back their premises without litigation
  • Accuracy of evidence: The evidence accumulated by the landlord may not be admissible in court, and the process of eviction will be a total failure.

What Happens in Case of Violation

Before issuing an eviction notice, it is important for the landlord to ensure that there is a genuine violation of the lease agreement. If the landlord issues the same without confirming this, then even after issuing this notice the tenant cannot be evicted.

The landlord must clearly specify which clause of the lease agreement has been violated, and this must be mentioned in the notice.

In case of violation of an eviction notice, the landlord then proceeds to a court of law for eviction of the tenant by filing an eviction suit. As a landlord, it is important for you to have proper supporting documents to substantiate your claim.

The next step will be filing your application in court. A fee will have to be paid to the court for filing an application. The tenant will be issued a summons by the court. You will need to provide the court with proof that adequate notice was given to the tenant in accordance with the relevant laws of the state. The landlord needs to take the required documents on the day of the hearing. If the court rules in your favor as the landlord, a court order will be issued to that effect.

When a tenant violates the terms of a lease agreement and all attempts at an amicable solution fail, the landlord serves an eviction notice on the tenant. Though the notice is not a legal document, it is the first step in the legal process of eviction of a tenant. It is important, however, to ensure that there has been a genuine violation according to the laws of the state relating to lease agreements.

In an eviction notice, the landlord of the premises mentions to the tenant that there has been non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the lease agreement. If the tenant does not respond to the notice in the stipulated time, then the landlord has to proceed to court. The eviction notice is documentary evidence admissible in a court of law that the landlord has given the tenant sufficient opportunity to remedy the situation, and the tenant has not complied with the request of the landlord.