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When you need your tenant to move out, how do you legally inform them that they need to vacate the property? In some places and circumstances, you’ll need to write a 60-day notice to vacate.

Determining how to write a notice to vacate requires that you become familiar with the state and local laws where you live. Different states (and sometimes municipalities) have their own laws about how many days of notice you are required to give tenants. Let’s look at how to write a notice to vacate and ensure you are staying within the bounds of landlord-tenant law in your area.

How to Write a 60-Day Notice to Vacate

When you need to give your tenant notice of when you expect them to leave the property, you’ll want to send them a notice to vacate letter. This type of letter can be used in both termination and eviction cases, but it’s more commonly used when terminating a lease.

man sitting outside on laptop writing 60 day notice to quit
A 60-day notice to vacate is a letter that landlords send to tenants to inform them that they need to move out sixty days before they must vacate. Writing a formal notice to vacate is an important step in the process of asking tenants to move out.

It’s worth noting that tenants also use this type of letter to inform their landlords that they are planning on moving out. Tenants can inform their landlords of their intent to vacate in written form in order to give their landlord the required notice that they are moving out.

Read Through the Lease Agreement

Before you sit down to write your notice to vacate, it’s a good idea to go through the lease agreement again and make sure your letter does not break the agreement outlined in the lease.

person reading through lease agreement before 60 day notice to vacate letter
It's important to make sure that you are not breaking the lease agreement when ending a tenancy.

If you have a landlord-tenant attorney, ask them to go through the lease agreement and draft or go over your notice to vacate letter.

Basic Identifying Information

When you are writing a notice to vacate letter, you’ll need to include basic identifying information right at the beginning. This includes:

  • Landlord name and contact information
  • Tenant name and contact information
  • Tenancy period
  • Property address

You will always want to include this info on any rental document so that there is never any confusion down the road. If there is any legal trouble resulting from the termination of the agreement, you’ll have all of the most important information written down.

Termination Information

The next step is to outline why you are informing the tenant that they should vacate the property. This is where you explain that you are not renewing the lease, planning on selling the property, broken lease terms that led to the notice, or whatever reason within the bounds of the law you are asking them to leave.

You want to make this section as clear as possible. If you are ending the lease before the term is up, make sure that the reasons you give are in line with state and local law.

Move-Out Date and Process

Now you will want to detail the date that the tenant must move out by, information about the move-out process, when the inspection will occur, and how the security deposit will be dealt with.

moving boxes and suitcases of someone that was asked to vacate rental in notice to vacate
Your letter should include information about the specific move-out date and details of the move-out process.

It’s best to make this section very clear. Even if most people have been through the process of moving out of a rental property before, you don’t want to assume this, as it can lead to miscommunication and unnecessary issues.

Contact Information

In the final part of your letter, inform the tenants of who they should contact if they have questions or concerns. It’s good to keep the lines of communication open so that the tenants can move out smoothly within the allotted time frame.

When to Send a Notice to Vacate Letter

There are a number of different instances where you would want to send a notice to vacate letter as a landlord. You’ll want to make sure you check with your state and local laws in terms of the specific laws that apply to each of these different circumstances. If digging through legal documents isn’t exactly how you want to spend your time, you might consider hiring a landlord-tenant lawyer to advise you.

Lease Terms Were Broken

If your tenants broke the rules of your lease but don’t believe it’s necessary to evict your tenants urgently, you can send them a notice to vacate. You will want to include information about what aspect of the contract they broke in your letter. If your tenant doesn’t move out when you have rightfully sent a notice to vacate letter, the next step is filing for an eviction.

Ending Month-to-Month Tenancy

Tenants must be given sufficient notice in terms of when they must move out, even when they are only on a month-to-month lease. The number of days that are required for a month-to-month depends on the state. For example, landlords in Florida only need to give tenants fifteen days' notice, while Georgia requires sixty days.

In many places, landlords can end month-to-month tenancies without any specific cause.

The landlord-tenant laws can vary from heavily favoring tenants to favoring landlords. This is one of many factors you might consider when choosing where to invest in rental property. If you’re thinking about buying properties remotely, check out our list of the best places to buy rentals.

Nonrenewal of Lease

A notice to vacate can also be sent when you are not going to renew the lease when the current lease period ends. Even if you and the tenant have discussed their leaving at the end of the lease period, you’ll still want to send a notice to vacate. Whether you need to send a thirty-day or sixty-day notice to vacate depends on your location.

No Longer Rentable

Maybe you’ve decided to remodel, sell, move into, or otherwise stop renting the property where you have tenants.

sale pending and sold sign of home that was once rental but sold by landlord who sent notice to vacate
There are a number of reasons that a property might no longer be rentable, including the decision to sell a rental property.

If this is the case, you would most likely want to send a notice to vacate. Some states have specific laws that address this type of situation, so you’ll want to make sure you’re following the precise timeline outlined by the law.

No Cause Termination

In some states and circumstances, you might be allowed to end a lease agreement without giving any cause or specific reason. In these instances, a notice to vacate would be the way that you inform your tenant that you expect them to move out within a specific number of days.

How to Know How Many Days Your State Requires For a Notice to Vacate

The laws vary depending on where you live, so it’s important to understand what your state and local laws say about legally sending a notice to vacate letter.

You will either want to become very familiar with landlord-tenant law in your state and city or work with a landlord-tenant attorney that can advise you regarding the laws. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently break the law and end up in court with your tenants.

Are you asking your tenants to move out because you’re raising the rent, turning it into an Airbnb, or selling the property to fund another? If so, you’ll want to use our rental property calculators to help you best utilize your real estate investments to meet your financial goals.

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia received her BA from Vassar College and is a real estate investor and researcher. With more than ten years of experience owning and managing investment properties, she has gained valuable insight into the pros and cons of operating rentals. Sophia is dedicated to helping others create wealth through real estate and aims to provide straightforward information about every aspect of rental property ownership.
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