What is a Rental Eviction Notice?

wiseGEEK Writer

A rental eviction notice is given by a landlord or legal representatives to a tenant demanding the tenant leave a property by a set day. Eviction can occur due to failings on the part of the tenant or sometimes the term is more loosely defined. Within this looser definition falls a variety of different notices that can be served to a tenant, either to ask the person to leave the property permanently or to perform some act that makes leaving unnecessary, like paying the rent or following rental agreement rules. These notices deserve discussion together because landlords usually have to serve earlier notices before they can evict.

A 30 day notice of eviction posted on an apartment door.
A 30 day notice of eviction posted on an apartment door.

The majority of eviction notices or other rental notices are legal. Usually the only time they are not is if the landlord is demanding the eviction in retaliation for legal tenant requests. Eviction notices may also not be legal if they are served when a person is leasing a property, unless that person has violated the lease.

Cash for keys can cover some or all moving expenses.
Cash for keys can cover some or all moving expenses.

A rental eviction notice differs from proper notice terminating a rental agreement, which landlords can generally give to renters with one or two month’s notice. Depending on the region renters live in, month-to-month tenants may generally be asked by landlords to leave without reason. A landlord would only require eviction notice if tenants won’t leave after this request is made.

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Most landlords have to fill several notices before achieving eviction. Some of these other notices ask people to pay rent or quit, and they may be used to obtain eviction if they’re ignored. Alternately landlords can ask tenants to fix a situation, like getting ridding of unauthorized pets, or move out, which may be called a cure or quit rental eviction notice. In severe cases landlords may have rights to immediately evict if tenants commit criminal acts on the property.

After any type of rental eviction notice is served it may mean going to court to get a judgment that the eviction proceedings are legal, which tenants might fight. Even if deemed legal, landlords may have to be careful with tenants that refuse to leave and could need to involve local authorities to remove tenants. Sometimes, people simply do leave or they comply with the landlord’s earlier notices and pay rent or solve rental agreement violation issues.

A new hybrid of the rental eviction notice has become common since the late 2000s due to the collapse of subprime lending. This is eviction by large companies that have repossessed homes owned by former landlords. In some cases tenants and the new possessor of the home can create rental agreements that don’t force the tenants to leave. In other instances, banks or mortgage companies are willing to offer tenants cash to pay for moving expenses, called cash for keys. These are best-case scenarios, and those interested in avoiding a third-party eviction should attempt to ascertain financial outlook of owners of any property they rent, to make certain owners can meet any mortgage payments they owe.

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