As a landlord, issuing out an eviction notice also known as quit notice at one point or the other is also unavoidable. It is a needful step to take when you want a tenant to move out of your property. There are some common mistakes which landlords make when writing an eviction letter. This article gives you a step by step guide to writing an ideal quit notice.
- 1 What is an Eviction Letter?
- 2 When do you need an Eviction Letter?
- 2.1 Writing The Eviction Letter
What is an Eviction Letter?
An Eviction letter is an official letter written by a property owner (landlord) to the tenant stating that he/she should adhere to the tenancy agreement or move out from the property. An eviction notice is also known as a notice to vacate or quit notice. The notice is served when the landlord and tenant are unable to reach a consensus.
In some cases, the eviction notice may be conditional or unconditional. In cases where it is conditional, the notice is as a result of a breach in the agreement which can be resolved if the tenant complies before the set date. However, when a notice is issued without condition, the tenant is mandated to leave before the set date as he/she can do nothing to avoid the eviction.
When do you need an Eviction Letter?
It is important to understand the conditions when you need to serve an eviction letter to your tenant. As a landlord, before you can serve a termination of tenancy notice, your reasons have to be clear and understandable. It is not uncommon for landlords and tenants to have disputes, either as a result of a misunderstanding in the tenancy agreement.
There are there are times when the notice is avoidable especially when the disagreement can be resolved between them. Perhaps the tenant defaults in payment of rent, paying service fees or fix a damage, there are a series of steps that can be taken to sort it out. There is also an option of issuing out a “pay or quit” which mostly lasts for three to seven days.
However, there are other cases where the property is being out completely or will no longer be used for residential purposes, the tenant is expected to move out. Howbeit, this reason is expected to be stated clearly in the eviction letter.
Writing The Eviction Letter
Issuing an eviction letter is the right step to take after certifying that the tenant should evict the property for clear reasons. It is therefore essential that your letter is as formal as can be and is in accordance with the local and state government’s law. The eviction notice serves as a piece of evidence that the tenant was notified before any further action was taken.
Crafting an eviction letter requires the right amount of patience and the ability to take note of every little detail. Any mistake documented in an eviction letter can have elongate the eviction process, unplanned expenses as well as give your tenant an edge over you. This article provides you with a step by step guide to writing an eviction notice for a tenant.
Address the letter to the exact name on the tenancy agreement
This is the foremost step to take in writing an eviction letter. It is important to write from a perspective that is not offensive or threatening. Your letter should be addressed to the individual whose name is written on the tenancy agreement. It is therefore important to have a copy of tenancy documents.
For instance, you can address your tenant this way:
Inform the tenant of the eviction
The next step is to notify the tenant of the eviction. The details of your eviction notice should notify the tenant of the eviction. It is important to convey your message correctly in a way that whoever reads the letter will clearly understand your purpose of writing.
Be plain and concise
In trying to be courteous, it is essential that you do not pass the wrong message across. An eviction notice is a formal letter and as such should be treated as one. Your language use and tone when writing should be official as pleasantries are uncalled for in this type of letter.
That is, your letter can simply state this: You are hereby required to evacuate the 4 bedroom apartment you currently occupy no later than 19th October 2018.
State the reasons for the eviction
In cases where you want to give the tenant the option of fixing a damage in order to terminate the eviction process. It is important you state the reasons for the eviction and conditions for which the process can be reversed. However, if there is no way of avoiding the eviction, it is also important to state this clearly.
You can continue your letter by including reasons for evicting a tenant such as:
- Stealing of personal properties of other tenants
- The constant dispute between other neighbours
- Damaging valuable items within the premises
- Unlawful or illegal use of the property
- Failure to pay rent at the agreed time and date
Be sure to include the specific time of eviction
The time period given to the tenant to vacate the property should also be stated clearly. However, the time of eviction differs from state to state. In Lagos State for instance, for an annual tenant, the time of notice is six months.
Therefore, before issuing an eviction notice, you should find out what the tenancy law applies in your state.
Ensure to get a copy of the letter
Like every other important document, you should keep a photocopy of the eviction letter for reference as well as to avoid misinformation if the case is taken to court.
Serve the notice
All your effort in trying to write a good eviction notice will be wasted if you do not serve the notice to the right person. The best approach is to hand it to the tenant in person or any member of the tenant’s family above the age of 18.
You can also send the notice via an electronic mail or paste it on the tenant’s door as is customary of Nigerian landlord.
If you were able to get to this point, this means you are fully ready to write that notice. You can always go over it a couple of times to make sure you have everything cover. Kindly share your thoughts with other PropertyPro.ng readers.