What Is a Vacate Notice?

A vacate notice is a document in the form of a written letter from a tenant to a landlord or a property owner to notify the landlord of the intent of the tenant to move out of the space they are renting. The document serves as an advance notice that several states require under the landlord-tenant laws and provisions. The period that the tenant must comply with in providing the vacate notice depends on the state that they are in, varying in each location. It is usually within a 30 to 60-day period before the desired move-out date of the tenant. For example, the state of California requires tenants to write a 30-day notice as a requirement for standard leases. Meanwhile, the state of Florida only requires tenants to write the notice to vacate 15 days before the moving date. In Hawaii, tenants can terminate the lease agreement by notifying the landlord through a written vacate notice at least 28 days in advance before the date they intend to vacate the property. A tenant must also mail the notice to the landlord using certified mail to ensure that they have the proof of the landlord receiving the notice to vacate. Tenants can also consult with the lease agreement to check for different delivery methods that are applicable.

According to the statistical information provided by Statista regarding the renter-occupied housing units in the United States, there is an estimate of more or less 44 million occupied housing units by renters in 2021. There is a downward trend in terms of residential vacancy rates across the United States. It means that there is a high demand for housing but a low supply of housing units available.

Components of a Vacate Notice

Similar to other real estate or property letters and notices, the vacate notice shares similar general components to these documents. These necessary pieces of information make the purpose of writing the letter clear and understandable, portraying that the tenant follows all the essential and legal steps in the process of moving out from a rental property. There are no specific formats for writing the notice to vacate letter to the landlord. However, in terms of legality, the document must contain several components that provide its readers with sufficient information about the move-out process. The section below covers the different sections of a vacate notice and their descriptions.

Name and address of the tenant: This section of the notice tells who writes the letter or notice. In this case, the section bears the complete name and current address of the tenant moving out.Name and address of the landlord: This section of the notice to vacate letter details the contact information of the landlord, present in the lease agreement.Date the letter is sent: This part of the notice indicates the delivery date the tenant sends the document to the landlord that is within the period indicated in the lease agreement.Purpose of the notice: The vacate notice must explicitly state the purpose of writing the letter that the letter is the notice to vacate letter from the tenant that they are to vacate the rental property.Move-out date requested by the tenant: The move-out date when the tenant intends to vacate the property must be available in this section of the notice.Advance move-out notice from the tenant: The tenant must first consult with the lease agreement regarding the rental timeline or the landlord-tenant law for the state before they can legally select a date for moving out. The document can still require the tenant to send a notice within a specified number of days before the term of the lease expires, especially if the contract is renewable.Final walkthrough request: Some states require the landlord to perform a property inspection when a tenant plans to vacate a rental space. It happens once the tenant removes all of their belongings from the property. The tenant must speak with the landlord or vice versa for both parties to be aware of the date and time of the inspection. Return of security deposit after the lease period: Each state has its set of rules when it comes to how and when the landlord returns the security deposit of the tenant. The vacate notice letter must state that the tenant knows and understand that they are entitled to the return of the deposit following the landlord-tenant policy and procedures in their state.Forwarding address: When a tenant intends to vacate a rental property and writes a vacate notice, they also include an address where the landlord can reach them so the tenant can receive their security deposit after vacating the rental property.Signature of the tenant: The last section of the vacate notice letter is the signature of the person writing the document. In this case, the tenant must sign and date the notice.

How To Write a Vacate Notice for a Landlord

Writing the vacate notice notifies the landlord of the intention of the tenant to vacate a rental property as soon as possible. Tenants typically construct and send their letters 30, 60, or 90 days before the intended date of moving out from the rental unit, depending on the requirements in the rental agreement or the landlord-tenant laws in the state. The section below provides a helpful guide to constructing a vacate notice from a tenant to a landlord.

  • 1. Read and Familiarize Yourself with the Lease or Rental Agreement

    The first step is not just about skimming through the vital parts of a lease or rental agreement between landlord and tenant. Make sure to read the agreement carefully and thoroughly. Most leasing and rental complexes and apartments promote a month-to-month basis for renting that requires its tenants to provide at least 30 days or more to notify the landlord, depending on the arrangement coming from the lease or rental agreement. If a tenant signs an apartment lease rental that promises they must stay for a specific period and there is still plenty of time before the set time ends, make sure to discuss the various options with the landlord for an agreeable option on both sides that enables a tenant to move out without breaking the lease or breaching the contract. There are consequences to ending a lease early, and one of them is the financial repercussions. Make sure to check the lease agreement if there is a break lease or termination clause that outlines the penalties to a tenant that ends their leases too early. Some landlords allow their tenants to break the lease early without suffering penalties as long as there is at least a 60-day notice and a break lease free. Pinpoint the number of days the landlord requires a tenant to submit the notice to refrain from receiving financial and legal penalties. Another section that a tenant must be familiar with is the delivery clause. The delivery clause outlines how a tenant must address and deliver the vacate notice to the landlord. Delivery options can range from certified mail or a personally delivered letter.

  • 2. Make Sure To have the Move Out or Vacate Notice in Writing

    To make the move-out process official, the tenant must have their intent to vacate the rental unit through a written notice. Make sure that the notice is legible and easy to read. As much as possible, print the notice on a piece of paper. As it is necessary to have a comprehensive document, make sure that all information in the vacate notice covers all the essential areas to satisfy the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement. A tenant can choose to download a template to help them construct the vacate notice. Make sure that the template contains all the necessary information for the letter, including the name, address, and contact information of the tenant and landlord and all other essential components of the notice. Guarantee that the landlord receives the copy of the notice to vacate, sending it personally or through certified mail.

  • 3. Determine the Best Way To Deliver the Notice to Vacate

    Aside from providing a hard copy of the intent to vacate through a notice letter, there are still two options to consider as to how the tenant plans to send the notice to the landlord. The fastest way for a landlord to receive the lease termination letter from a tenant is by handing the document over personally. Delivering the notice in person also gives the landlord and tenant to clarify and address different issues with moving out to avoid further delays. Sending the notice by mail is still a good option, especially if there is certification wherein the landlord signs a delivery receipt upon delivery to assure that they receive the letter.

  • 4. Keep a Record of the Proceeding and Documents Related to the Moving Out Process

    Lastly, the tenant must make sure that they have a copy of the lease termination notice for record-keeping purposes. If a tenant plans to send the letter as an out-of-state document, make the necessary arrangements for it to arrive on time. This is when the certified mail is the most convenient as the landlord signs a certification that they indeed received the notice to vacate from the tenant.


What is a reasonable time to give the notice to vacate?

A tenant can provide the notice to vacate letter to a landlord according to the length of the tenancy period that both parties agree on. Most landlords expect their tenants to submit the notice to vacate for no lesser than 30 days before the moving out date.

Can a landlord evict a tenant?

Landlords cannot immediately evict tenants, even if they are behind their rent payments. The only way that a landlord can evict a tenant from the property is through a court judgment. A landlord cannot evict tenants without ending the lease agreement between the tenant.

How long does it take for bailiffs to evict a tenant?

A court judgment gives a tenant enough time to vacate the rental property. Usually, a tenant has 10 days to vacate the rental. Additionally, they can negotiate the days and ask for more time to move.

The vacate notice is a necessary document that a tenant writes to inform a landlord that they want to vacate a rental property before the expiration of a leasing agreement. More often than not, if a tenant intends to end their lease for a rental, they write a vacate notice to inform the landlord of their plan before a particular date. Different states require a tenant to send their notices days before moving out, and a tenant should consult the lease agreement for the most accurate estimation. Write an accurate notice to vacate by downloading from the 20+ Sample Vacate Notice in PDF, only at Sample.net.