4 Frequently Asked Questions About Leasing
As a landlord, leases are a crucial factor when renting a property. There are several questions you might have when it comes to lease notices or how to deal with tenants that aren’t following the lease guidelines. In this article, you will learn more about frequently asked questions when it comes to leasing.
How much notice does a landlord have to give a tenant to move out?
The notice that a landlord must give a tenant to move out depends on the situation as well as the location. Typically, 30 days’ notice is the required time a landlord must give a tenant when terminating a written lease or month-to-month tenancy. Some states require a longer period, so be sure to check with your state laws. Read more from NOLO about each state’s rules.
However, if a landlord is terminating the lease due to an apparent violation of the lease, then it is important to provide a termination notice that includes the violation. The time frame until the eviction process begins can vary depending on the violation. For example, a Pay or Quit notice usually gives tenants 3-5 days to pay rent before they must move out. A Cure or Quit notice can give a tenant a longer window to fix a non-rent related violation before they have to move out. An Unconditional Quit Notice lets a tenant know they are obligated to move out, usually in 5-10 days.
How to send a lease non-renewal notice?
A lease non-renewal notice is a lease termination letter for an upcoming expiring lease that you want to end with a current tenant. A lease termination letter is a polite way to let a tenant know that their lease will not be extended. For fixed-term leases, you do not need to declare a reason as to why you are choosing not to renew their lease. If you have month-to-month tenants, you need to provide a written notice when deciding to not renew the agreement, even if the original agreement was verbal. With Particle Space’s Property Management platform, you can receive notifications on expiring leases and keep track of all vacant leases.
Additionally, it is still important to give them a fair amount of time to make arrangements to move out, as mentioned above. In the lease termination letter, it would be best to let them know how many days they have to move out. As a reminder, you are not allowed to deny renewal on the basis of retaliation or discrimination.
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How long can a tenant stay after the lease expires?
If a tenant decides to stay after their lease expires, they are considered “holdover tenants.” The laws regarding this can differ from state to state, so it’s important to check your state laws before taking any action.
If a tenant refuses to leave after the lease expires, you should first talk to them and try to make a deal so you do not have to deal with the eviction process. However, you should try and avoid holdover tenants as much as possible. It is not wise to accept rent from holdover tenants because this can cause more complications in the future. For instance, if you collect rent from a holdover tenant, you forfeit your right to evict them for trespassing. Legal Nature provides more about the full eviction process from a legal perspective.
In order to avoid this situation, most landlords have a clause in their lease agreement that states when a tenant is obligated to move out or renew their lease so that there is no question about when a tenant must leave. In addition, it would be helpful to remind your tenants 60 days before their lease is up. This way, they can either prepare to move out or resign their lease.
What to do when a tenant breaks a lease?
When a tenant breaks a lease early, there are a couple steps you can take. Regardless of the tenant’s reason for breaking the lease early, ask them to give you a written request to leave early with the reasons why they are choosing to break the lease.
Once a tenant sends you a formal early termination of lease letter, you are obligated to search for a new tenant in some states. This is not the case for every state so be sure to check your state laws before taking any action.
Your situation and location determines whether you or the tenant are obligated to pay rent. There are certain legal circumstances as to why a tenant must break a lease and do not have to pay the remaining rent, such as military deployment, unlivable conditions, or situations like domestic violence.
Within your lease, it would be a good idea to outline the actions or fees a tenant must take if they decide to break a lease. For example, you can include an early termination clause, a subleasing clause, or perhaps the cost to break a lease. With Particle Space’s Property Management platform, you can share leases with tenants and invite tenants to electronically sign agreements.