“How to Write And Serve An Eviction Letter”
Wondering how you should write an eviction letter?
If you want to remove a tenant from your rental property, you have to make an eviction letter or eviction notice. It’s the initial step in the eviction process.
However, keep in mind that you can’t just send a letter informing the tenant about the possible eviction. You’re required to follow the laws in your area about eviction notices.
There are some basic rules to follow whatever state you may be in, though. In this blog post, I’ll teach you how to write an eviction letter and how you’re going to serve it to your tenant.
Simple Steps to Writing and Serving Eviction Letter
Writing an eviction letter isn’t that hard. You can do it in the span of 15 minutes, especially if you’ve already done it before or know what to write.
But before you start writing the eviction letter, it’s advisable to check the rental laws in your area. That’s because certain parts of the letter may be affected by state legislation on the subject.
For example, you usually have to state in an eviction letter how much time you’re giving a tenant to move out. Depending on the state, you may be required by law to give them anywhere from 15 to 30 days for it. That’s why you need to check state laws first.
When you’re done studying rental laws in your area, consider writing your eviction letter as a draft first. Property managers write the eviction letter in a draft so they can easily make changes if there’s a mistake.
Make an Eviction Letter Draft
Start your eviction letter draft by addressing it to your tenant. Don’t forget to include your legal relationship with the person in the letter.
The letter should clearly notify the tenant about the eviction. Make the letter concise and straight to the point to avoid confusion.
Once you’ve finished drafting your eviction letter, send it to a rental lawyer. The rental lawyer should review the letter and make sure that it complies with local legislation. It will become a legal document once you sign it and give it to your tenant.
It’s important to keep errors in your eviction letter to a minimum. If you’re worried about making mistakes, consider following the instructions below.
Notify the Tenant about the Eviction
The first sentence of your letter should clearly state its purpose, which is to notify the tenant of the possible eviction. To give you an idea of how to do it, here’s an example:
“This letter is to notify you that you are directed to vacate the property at ___(address)___ no later than ___(date)___.”
After notifying the tenant, the next part of your eviction letter should state the reason for eviction.
State the Reason for Eviction
You should have a valid reason for why you’re going to evict your tenant. Most rental laws state that a property manager can’t evict a tenant without a valid reason.
Of course, what constitutes a valid reason may sometimes vary from state to state as well. Still, there are some general guidelines here. You can usually evict your tenant if any of these happen during their tenancy:
- The tenant fails to pay the rent on time.
- The tenant breaks the lease or rental agreement and will not fix the problem (like keeping pets when pets aren’t allowed).
- The tenant causes damage to the property that can possibly bring down its value.
- The tenant becomes a serious nuisance by disturbing other tenants and neighbors even after being informed of the problem after the initial disturbance.
- The tenant uses the property to do something illegal.
When writing the eviction letter, be specific in giving the exact reason why the tenant is facing eviction. It’s a necessary part of the notice.
That’s because the reason for eviction is an important factor that judges look at during the eviction hearing. If it’s not reasonable, it lowers your chances of winning the eviction.
Details about Vacating the Property
After stating the reason for eviction, write the date when the tenant must vacate the property. The allotted time for the deadline usually depends on the length of the lease term and the reason for eviction. Your state may also have prescriptions on this.
Before the deadline, require your tenant to fix the problem first. If the tenant fails to fix the problem causing the eviction, that’s when the actual process of eviction can begin.
Checking the Eviction Letter
As noted earlier, you should consult a lawyer and let him check your eviction letter draft before you send it to the tenant. If he sees something wrong with it, he’ll suggest the possible changes that you can make. This can help you avoid violating rental laws in your area.
Take note that the eviction letter has to be drafted to careful legal precision. The process of eviction is complicated and judges usually take the side of the tenant.
So any legal error in your eviction documents can turn the tide very easily against you. In fact, if something in your eviction letter violates the tenant’s rights, the eviction might turn into a lawsuit against you.
Make changes to the draft until the rental lawyer approves it. Only when you’ve received that legal go-ahead should you finalize the draft and serve it to your tenant.
Serving the Eviction Notice
Finally, decide who’ll be serving the eviction letter to the tenant. Usually, the property manager is the one who does this.
But in some states, property managers or landlords aren’t allowed to serve the eviction notice. It’s better to check the laws in your area regarding this issue.
Also, look for the permissible times to deliver the notice. Many states only allow the property managers or landlords to serve papers to a tenant between 6AM and 10PM.
Final Thoughts on Writing and Serving an Eviction Letter
In this blog post, I talked about how to write and serve an eviction letter. Property managers need to serve an eviction letter before they can go on to actually evicting a tenant.
When writing an eviction letter, make sure that it’s straight to the point. State the purpose of the letter and point out the reason why the tenant is being evicted. Your eviction letter should also inform the tenant of the allotted time for fixing a problem and moving out of the premises.
Before you finalize your letter, consider consulting a lawyer first. Let them check your draft and allow them to make changes to make it free from errors.
After that, check the rental laws in your area to know the proper way of serving the notice to your tenant.
If you have more questions about making and serving an eviction letter, leave it in the comment section below.
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