When you decide to end your tenancy in a residential property, it's good to provide written notice to your landlord. This will avoid certain complications and generally make the process smoother for all involved.
Even if you have a periodic tenancy, your landlord might have specific requirements about leaving the property. It's a good idea to use a written notice even if it is not required.
A written notice, delivered correctly, leaves evidence of your actions if there is a conflict that leads to a court proceeding. You'll be able to prove your intent to vacate the premises was communicated through the proper channels and in a reasonable timeframe.
A Notice of Intent to Vacate is a simple form letter that communicates your intention to vacate a rented or leased property.
This specific form addresses the needs of people who are engaged in a periodic tenancy. In other words, their tenancy renews automatically every week, month or year until either party cancels the contract.
A properly drafted and signed Notice of Intent to Vacate constitutes a legal notification. If you do not notify your landlord of your intent to vacate and end the periodic tenancy agreement, your contract may automatically renew against your wishes.
Without a Notice of Intent to Vacate, there's little recourse once a contract has automatically renewed.
Depending on your state, a Notice of Intent to Vacate may also be known as:
Move Out Notice
Intent to Vacate Letter
Notice of Departure
Any tenant who wants to end a periodic tenancy is well-advised to use a Notice of Intent to Vacate. The tenancy termination requirements are established in your lease, and you may have to file a written notice to comply with the lease.
However, even if a lease doesn't require it, it's a good idea to provide written notice to your landlord to avoid any conflicts. It's also a courtesy your landlord will appreciate because it allows them to begin screening new tenants for the property.
A Notice of Intent to Vacate is different from the one used to end a fixed lease agreement. If you have a fixed lease agreement, you'll use a Notice of Intent to Vacate (Fixed Lease).
As a landlord, you can request a Notice of Intent to Vacate from your tenants in the lease agreement. It's a good idea to do this since it established a tenant left on their own free will. This removes any doubt that the tenant was coerced into leaving the property.
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A Notice of Intent to Vacate can be as simple as a written statement of your intentions. However, it should include certain provisions to ensure it is conveying your intent accurately. With our proprietary form generator, all you need to do is answer a few questions, and we compose the form for you.
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To create your document, please provide:
Governing State: Which state's laws apply to the lease agreement.
Method of Delivery: How the notice will be delivered to the property owner (mail, email, hand delivery, etc.).
Landlord Details: Full name and address of the property owner as it appears in the lease agreement.
Premises Details: Physical address of the property being vacated.
Details of the Termination: Briefly describe why you're leaving the property and terminating the lease. You don't need to give any specific information, but be sure it's enough to communicate your intentions.
Forwarding Address: If you haven't already, give your landlord an address where they can send your security deposit and any notices once you've vacated the property.
Security Deposit: If applicable, state the amount of your security deposit and any portion you expect to receive.
Outstanding Debt: Any outstanding debt you still owe to the landlord related to the property, including rent, repairs, etc.
Right of Entry: A provision, typically within a lease agreement, allowing a landlord to enter a property under certain conditions as long as they comply with state and local laws.
Pursuant: Conforming with the requirements of a document, provision, or regulation.
Remedies: Any legal action that leads to a just outcome in a conflict. In the context of a rental property, remedies might include terminating a lease, demanding all due rents, or evicting a tenant.
Unlawful Detainer: When a tenant refuses to leave a property after a lease agreement has expired or the tenancy was terminated in other ways.
Abandonment: Circumstances that let a landlord assume a property was vacated. This usually includes failure to pay rent for an extended period or visual evidence that the property is not inhabited, such as uncollected mail.
A Notice of Intent to Vacate needs to be signed by the tenant, and only the tenant. The landlord does not need to sign it to indicate receipt of the notice.
A witness to the signature can help validate it in case conflicts arise. Notarizing a signature on a Notice of Intent to Vacate is not required but may help if you need to establish the signature's validity beyond question.
Once signed, deliver the Notice of Intent to Vacate to your landlord via the notice itself's method. If you need to provide additional copies of the notice in other ways, it's a good idea to create a new statement with the delivery method explicitly stated.
There is no need to file a Notice of Intent to Vacate with any registry office. However, you should retain a copy for your own record if you need it to resolve issues regarding the vacating process in a court.
Generally speaking, yes. However, your lease agreement may require a written notice of intent to vacate. If you don’t provide the notice under those circumstances, you may be subject to a penalty from the landlord.
It depends on your lease agreement. If you fail to provide written notice in compliance with the laws of your jurisdiction, your landlord may have the right to charge you the following month’s rent or withhold your security deposit.
If your lease establishes specific requirements for a notice period before vacating a property, follow those requirements. Otherwise, 30 days or a full rental period (whichever is longer) is required by law. Those 30 days start when your landlord receives the notice, not when it is sent.
Once you deliver your notice, it constitutes a commitment to leave the property by the appointed date. The landlord does not have to allow you to stay in the property after that. But, you may be able to negotiate extra time past the notice date or even completely annul it if your landlord agrees to the terms. This is generally easier to do the closer you change your mind to the delivery date.
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