What Is an Eviction Notice?

An eviction notice is a formal notice or pronouncement handed to a tenant to vacate a particular property. The notice may also sometimes serve as a warning to give the tenant an opportunity to cease or rectify a problem.

According to an online article published by the New York City Council, tenants living in over 19,000 apartments experienced an eviction from their residence. The same report stated that of all the boroughs in New York City, the Bronx had the highest eviction rate with 6,858 evictions in 2018. Brooklyn came in second with 5,701 evictions of the total 19,970 evictions.  

Reasons for Eviction

There can be more than one good reason for evicting a tenant. Some reasons may be more grave than others. And there are also perfectly legal reasons to evict a person as provided by law. The following examples describe some major grounds for eviction. 

Failure to pay rent. One of the most common reasons for evicting a tenant is the failure to pay monthly dues. Nonpayment of rent presents a clear violation of a lease contract. Especially when there is a consistent failure to pay up, the landlord can use that as grounds to oust a lessee. There are cases where tenants don’t pay their rent for months at a time, even for a consecutive number of months. Some property owners allow a sufficient grace period or simply charge a minimal fee for late payments. This usually depends on the discretion of the landlord or owner of the building. But if there is no significant effort or attempt to pay on the part of the tenant, the landlord is usually left with no choice but to evict the individual. Eviction may also be the last resort if there is a consistent pattern of incomplete rent payment by the boarder or occupant. Threat to public safety and health. As a tenant, there are a number of minimum health standards that are expected if you are reading on someone else’s property. If you are the lessee, you must be able to meet these standards regardless of your background or circumstance. It all boils down to a matter of basic courtesy and respect. Keeping one’s living quarters and immediate surroundings clean is a tenant’s basic duty. The renter is expected to know that other people live in the area as well. The presence of excessively foul smells and poor waste management can attract rodents and pests. This can pose a threat to the health and safety of not just the tenant but to everyone in the area as well. Basic cleanliness is the lessee’s responsibility and the failure to meet this standard could be sufficient grounds for eviction. Even common areas within the property must be treated with respect. Any damage to property might result in the tenant’s eviction as well. Criminal activity. One of the more serious and grave offenses a tenant can commit is conducting illegal activity on the property. Criminality can lead to one’s immediate and irrevocable eviction. A tenant is typically given a grace period of a week to a month before they are to leave the premises. But if illegal activity is proven to have taken place, the grace period may be forfeited. Criminal activity can range from petty to grave. Many cases involve illegal drugs or human trafficking. The illegal and commercial distribution of harmful substances is one of the most common exploits. There are tenants who use their residence as drug dens or cybercrime hubs. Even harboring a fugitive can be considered a crime. Basically, if the residence is used for means other than what was agreed in the contract, it could be considered grounds for eviction. Subletting or subleasing. Another reason a tenant could be ousted from the property is subleasing. What this basically means is that the tenant leases the property to someone else while also profiting from it. Unless it is evidently stated that subletting or subleasing is allowed, the intent and act of renting out another person’s property without their permission can be legal grounds for eviction. In most cases, subletting is a blatant breach of contract. It is the plain failure on the part of the tenant to uphold the lease agreement. If a lessee is caught subleasing or worse, deliberately concealing the act, the property owner has the right to terminate the agreement contract because only the landlord can decide if an individual may reside on the property.

Tips for Writing an Eviction Notice

If you are tasked to write an eviction notice, make sure you do it right. You want to balance your sentiments with clear objectivity and regard for the law. Keep in mind the following tips if you want to craft a clear and professional eviction notice.  

Always cite the reason. You cannot evict a tenant on the basis of personal reasons. Even if you have a deep dislike for the individual, it is not enough to oust him or her from the premises. There are legal and justified reasons for evicting a person. Thus, you must always cite the reason in your eviction notice. The tenant has the right to know on what grounds they are being expelled. It is then also the duty of the landlord to offer a clear and fair explanation for the eviction. And if the purpose of your notice is to give a strong or final warning to an erring tenant, you must also explain your reasons in an unprejudiced and calm manner. For instance, if the reason for handing the notice is nonpayment of rent, then be sure you are able to back up your claims by presenting the appropriate documentation. Exercise professionalism and respect. An eviction notice may seem like an offensive attack for the tenant. Even if the occupant has erred or failed to uphold the terms in your lessor-lessee agreement, it is still important to exercise respect and courtesy towards them. An eviction notice is a formal document; thus, it is still subject to a certain standard. Strive to practice professionalism and fairness even if the tenant does not treat you the same way. You need to strike a balance between sympathy and impartiality since every situation is a case-to-case basis. If criminal activity is the reason for eviction, you may resent the tenant for it but they still have the right to due process. Yet you also cannot discount other possible scenarios wherein a tenant may be unable to pay rent on time due to unfair labor practices on the part of their employer. It is for cases like this that you must exercise keen discernment and understanding for compassionate reasons. Make it clear what cannot be tolerated. In relation to citing your reasons for eviction, you can also make it clear to the tenant what can no longer be tolerated. For example, if the grounds for eviction is a consistent pattern of late rent payment, you can indicate in your formal notice that any late payment moving forward will incur the appropriate penalties or fines. It is important to be firm, specific and fair at the same time. Enumerate your main points or arguments in a clear and specific way. Give specific dates or deadlines and indicate them in bold or underscored text. Sometimes, serving a final warning or giving an ultimatum can push a tenant to shape up and force them to rectify the problem.

How to Create an Eviction Notice

In order to create an eviction notice, you should first ensure that you have valid reason to evict or warn the tenant of a probable eviction. And if you are looking for reliable sample notices to use as reference, you can easily download any template of your choice from the selection above. Choose one that best suits your needs and follow the basic steps below.  

Step 1: Basic Information

The first step in crafting an eviction notice is to provide all the necessary details pertaining to the tenant and their stay. Include the date of notice, the lessee’s complete name, complete address, and the current status of their lease and occupancy. It is important to be specific and straightforward with regard to the details. The tenant should know it is directly addressed to them. Also note that the format of your eviction notice will depend on your preferences too. Don’t forget to include an appropriate title (i.e., Eviction Notice or Notice of Eviction). You can also indicate key information using bold or underscored text to emphasize the identity of the recipient of the notice.    

Step 2: Pronouncement or Warning

After covering all the essential information, the next step is making the formal declaration. You have to be clear in your pronouncement that the tenant in question is about to be evicted or could face a possible eviction. There is no other way around it. It is almost impossible to sugarcoat an eviction notice. Keep it brief and direct to the point. Ideally, you must also indicate the specific number of days or period of time the tenant has to vacate or rectify the issue. If possible, give a fixed date. This section is necessary before you can proceed to enumerating the grounds for eviction.

Step 3: Reasons and Conditions for Eviction 

This section is vital in any formal notice. You cannot evict an individual without just cause. A landlord or property owner would need to state a valid reason or reasons for eviction. As explained and discussed in previous sections, there are certain grounds for evicting a tenant. Some may be more grave than others. Enumerate all that apply and be sure that you can support your argument or claim by providing the necessary documents (e.g., late payment notice, etc.) You could also include terms and conditions such as deadline of rent and the number of days left to vacate the premises. 

Step 4: Other Concerns and Signatory  

The last step is to confirm that all the above mentioned terms are correct and executory. You can also assure the tenant that you, as the property owner, welcome any questions or concerns. Leave your contact details too in case the tenant wants to seek clarification. At the bottom of the page, don’t forget to state the date and your complete name. Make sure to affix your signature as well.  

FAQs

How long does the eviction process take in South Carolina?

According to LawChamps, the eviction process usually takes around 30-45 days.

Can a landlord evict you if there is no lease?

A landlord may evict a tenant even without a formal lease contract. The property owner can still evict as long as there is sufficient and valid grounds to do so.

Do you have 30 days after eviction notice?

Any property owner or landlord is required to hand a formal written eviction notice to a tenant. Unless it is a special case where immediate departure is deemed necessary, the average eviction notice usually gives a grace period of anywhere between a week to a month.

Oftentimes, landlords are left with no choice but to let a tenant go due to all sorts of issues and failures. Still, an eviction notice should be straightforward, justified and fair.  Browse the extensive library of sample templates above and download a free sample eviction notice today to get started!