One of the most unfortunate parts of being a landlord is evicting a tenant. Eviction is a costly and time-consuming process. To keep costs at a minimum, eviction proceedings must be executed sooner rather than later.
The first step in in the eviction process is to write an eviction letter or demand letter which is to be served to the tenant. A demand letter should inform the tenant of his delinquency, solutions to fix this delinquency and the time period to fix this delinquency.
For any landlord, writing and serving a demand letter is difficult. But the sooner this is achieved; the sooner the landlord’s cash will flow. Here are the steps to writing an eviction letter:
Know the Eviction Laws in Your Area – Before you write a demand letter, make sure you are familiar with the eviction laws in your area. In the United States for instance, eviction laws vary from state to state and even between counties.
In general, most US states require landlords to allow the tenant from 30 to 90 days to vacate the property. To know the exact laws in your area, contact the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. For specific state laws you can also contact the Department of Consumer Affairs for that particular state.
Use a Business Style Format – The business-style format should be used when writing an eviction letter. The letter should have a professional tone and approach the matter in a formal way.
On the left hand margin, the tenant’s name with a formal salutation and the address must be included. On the right hand margin, the landlord’s name and address must be placed. The date will then be included underneath the name and address of the landlord.
Body Of Letter
The Body of the Letter – The first part of the letter’s body informs the tenant that he is in violation of the terms of the lease.
This should include the landlord’s business, the tenant’s name and the date of the lease. The letter should then go into detail as to reason why the tenant is in violation of his lease.
The letter should list the steps that the tenant must take to remedy the situation within a period of time. This could range from 3 days to 60 days. For eviction due to non-payment of rent which is the most common cause of eviction, a three-day notice is required.
Other evictions such as non-payment of utilities, late fees and violation of non-monetary obligations also require a three-day notice.
For evictions of tenants on a month-to-month lease, the landlord is required to give a 30-day notice. For those who have lived on the property for more than one year a 60-day lease is required.
Closing the Letter – The landlord should then sign the letter, address it to the tenant and send it through certified mail.
Sample 1 – Eviction Letter
[Name of Tenant]
[Address of Tenant]
[City, State, Zip of Tenant]
[Name of Landlord(s)], Landlords, hereby give [Name of Tenant(s)], AND ALL OTHER OCCUPANTS HOLDING UNDER THEM, thirty (30) days notice to vacate the rental unit located at Street Address, City & State.
The reason for the eviction:
YOU MUST VACATE THE PREMISES BY Date to Vacate (30 DAYS AFTER SERVICE).
If you remain in the premises on or after the date that you are specified to vacate, then the landlord can seek to enforce this termination through the judicial process.
At this time you can present a defense. If a meeting is requested, then the landlord or his agents will discuss your violations and the proposed lease termination.
You are advised to defend your actions in a court of law. Your failure to answer to this termination notice does not constitute a waiver of your rights to contest the landlord’s actions in judicial court.
[Dated at Town, State this Day day of Month, Year]
[Landlord(s) Name, Signature & Date]
Sample 2 – Eviction Letter
4300 Curtis Street
Newark, NJ, 07101
194 Gold Street
Newark, NJ, 07102
Dear Mr. Johnson:
This letter is a formal notification that I, Paul George, am asking you, Andrew Johnson, to permanently quit the premises of 194 Gold Street.
You have failed to pay the $500 rent for the past four months, and were sent a Notice to Quit on DATE in which you were asked to pay your rent in full in 30 days or you would be evicted. I have enclosed a copy of this Notice. Since that Notice, you have not paid any rent.
I hereby request you to pay the above-mentioned amount within 5 working days of receipt of this letter or vacate the premises.
If you fail to do this, I will be compelled to file an eviction suit against you. I would appreciate your cooperation in this matter.