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The Notice to Quit

First Steps to Take If a Tenant Violates a Lease Agreement

One of the unfortunate realities of renting or leasing a property is the possibility that a tenant may have to be evicted for a violation of the lease agreement. While no landlord looks forward to such a scenario, prudence demands that they be aware of the process required to remove a problem tenant and understand the steps that need to be taken in order to protect their property.


It is important to understand that a notice to quit is not tantamount to an eviction, but rather it is the first step in the process of initiating a remedy to a problem that has been created by the tenant. A landlord cannot evict a tenant who has signed a legal lease agreement unless that individual has violated the terms of the lease; but if that should occur, the first step for the landlord is to execute and deliver a notice to quit. Three types of notices to quit are:

  • a 3-day notice to quit,
  • a 30-day notice to quit, and
  • a 60-day notice to quit.

The 3-Day Notice to Quit

The 3-day notice to quit is used primarily when there is an issue with the tenancy that can and must be remedied in an immediate fashion. The 3-day notice is used for situations such as a tenant falling behind on the rent or if terms of the lease agreement have been violated and correction is required. This can include:

  • tenants having an unauthorized pet on the premises,
  • tenants not keeping the premises in a clean condition,
  • tenants causing a nuisance,
  • tenants utilizing the property for illegal purposes,
  • tenants bringing in additional tenants without the landlord's permission, or
  • any other violation of the terms of the lease agreement.

The 3-day notice is used in an attempt to remedy the situation quickly to avoid further eviction proceedings. However, should the situation arise to the level of eviction, the 3-day notice is an important legal step that must be taken in the process.

The 30-Day Notice to Quit

The 30-day notice to quit is used primarily to end a month-to-month lease tenancy if the tenant has been renting the premises for less than a year. The 30-day notice formally declares the landlord's intention to have the tenant vacate the property within 30 days. If the tenant does not comply, then the landlord proceeds with the eviction process.

The 60-Day Notice to Quit

The 60-day notice to quit is used to end a lease agreement when the tenant has been in possession of the property for longer than one year. The 60-day notice is identical to the 30-day notice as far as the legal process is concerned except that it grants more time to the tenant to find a new location to live. Many people consider the 60-day notice the most amicable of the three variations.

A Step in the Process

It is important for both the landlord and the tenant to be aware that a notice to quit is the first step in a process usually designed to remedy a problem with the tenancy. This is especially true with the 3-day notice. The notice to quit is used to attempt a resolution to an issue—usually something as simple as a late rent payment or an unauthorized pet.

Depending on how the notice to quit is addressed by the landlord, it can be an effective tool in quickly fixing any problems or misunderstandings between themselves and the tenant. Should the situation deteriorate and become a larger problem, then the notice to quit sets the legal groundwork for the eviction process. It is a necessary first step for the landlord to take to protect their property and legally remedy an unfortunate situation.


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