How To Serve an Eviction Notice the Right Way

Osprey Property Management   |   date January 2022

Property owners who own rental properties need to understand the importance of serving eviction notices correctly. Not doing so could result in severe consequences, including legal fees, fines, and possible legal repercussions.

Serving an eviction notice is harder than ignoring the problem (or approaching it the wrong way). It requires patience, persistence, and a little bit of finesse. Our Chesapeake property management company teaches you how to serve an eviction notice the right way.

Common Reasons to Evict

There are several reasons a landlord may evict a tenant, but the most common are failure to pay rent, lease violations, and criminal activity. For a property owner to win an eviction lawsuit in court, they must prove that the tenant has not paid their rent on time or has violated one of the rental agreement terms. 

Types of Eviction Notices

If it’s time to move forward with removing a tenant, what’s the right notice to use? Eviction notices should identify which section of the rental agreement has been violated. If you’re not sure which notice is appropriate for your tenant situation, a property manager can help! Here’s a little insight. 

10-Day Notice to Vacate

This notice gives the tenant ten days to either comply with the lease or vacate the property. Landlords may serve the notice for various reasons, such as not paying rent or creating a disturbance. In many cases, receiving the notice with clear direction to fix the problem is enough to encourage a tenant to follow through.

Eviction notice document and toy house on the table

However, if the renter does not comply or vacate within ten days, a property owner can then file an unlawful detainer lawsuit to evict the tenant. When a renter doesn’t resolve the issue, be sure to consult your attorney before moving forward with the legal eviction process. 

3-Day Notice for Waste, Nuisance, or Criminal Activity

This 3-Day Notice is simple: a property owner can pursue eviction through the court if the tenant does not comply within three days of receiving the notice. 

Nuisance activities can include excessive noise, drug-related behavior, or running an illegal company on the property. Waste violations could be anything from leaving appliances outdoors to having an animal infestation. Use this notice when renters engage in any of these activities and need to stop.

14-day Notice

Receiving a 14-day vacate notice is a warning to tenants that a rental payment is late and due within 14 days before you take legal action. 

During these 14 days, a property owner cannot remove a renter from the property. A tenant may pay the overdue funds during this time to avoid legal consequences. They might also choose to move out voluntarily to avoid an eviction on their rental record.

In either case, property owners can avoid an eviction. However, if a tenant doesn’t comply, filing an eviction lawsuit is appropriate.

No-Cause Notice

A No-Cause Notice can only be used in very specific situations. In most cases, this notice applies when a tenant fails to move out after their lease term ends.

At the conclusion of a lease or when the tenant is living in the property on a month-to-month basis, a landlord can discontinue a tenancy for no cause. Consult an attorney before delivering this notice to make sure it’s legal and applies to your situation.

The Timeline of An Eviction

Eviction processes begin with a notice from the landlord informing the tenant of their intention to evict and reason why. Rental property owners must give this notice per state law, whether it’s a 3-day, 10-day, 14-day, or 30-day notice.

When serving a notice, property owners must deliver them in writing. It’s also critical to confirm that your tenant has received the notice. While it’s often okay to also send the notice by email, in most cases, the notice should be served in person to the tenant. If you have a property manager, they are an excellent resource to deliver written notices and document the receipt.

Book with title Tenant Law and gavel

From that point, the eviction process includes:

  • The tenant cures the default or remains in default 
  • Compiling eviction paperwork or contacting an eviction attorney. 
  • Allowing time for the tenant to reply to the eviction notice. 
  • Scheduling a court appearance. 
  • Attending a court hearing when the judge hears both sides and looks over the evidence. 
  • The judge rules in favor of the property owner or tenant
  • If the property is still occupied and the court rules in favor of eviction, the Sheriff evicts the renter.

Landlords should always consult with an attorney to ensure they comply with state law when serving an eviction notice and working through the eviction process.

Serve Eviction Notices the Right Way With Chesapeake Property Management

Evictions must adhere to the legal process. Changing the locks on a tenant's door without first following through with the legal eviction process could result in legal issues for property owners. Consult the lease, follow the law, and hire a full-service property management team to avoid these issues.

Osprey Property Management has the resources real estate investors need to navigate evictions. We also deliver a thorough screening process to help property owners place better tenants and reduce evictions. Reach out soon to learn more!

Our free “Rental Property Owner’s Tenant Eviction Checklist” has more insights for property owners! Download it today.

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