If you find any issues with your notice to vacate, you can easily make changes on LegalNature's website or by downloading and editing the document in Microsoft Word format. Then simply print, sign, and proceed to the next step.
The tenant must be properly served according to state law. This could mean personal delivery to the tenant, posting the notice (usually on the door), or sending the notice via first-class mail. It may be advisable to use multiple service delivery methods to ensure that the notice is received.
It is recommended that whoever serves the notice also fill out the included Proof of Service form. On the form, the server indicates the method(s) of service used and signs a statement swearing that such information is true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge. This form is required for California landlords.
If the notice allowed the tenant to remedy the problem, then the landlord will need to follow up and determine whether the problem was actually resolved and communicate with the tenant on any additional requirements. It is possible that the tenant filed a motion to stay, in which case the tenant will be allowed to remain in the unit until a judge reviews the case.
If the tenant failed to move out on time, then the landlord will need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit and properly serve the tenant with a complaint for eviction. Unfortunately, this process may sometimes add weeks or months to the tenancy.
In the event that the landlord wins an unlawful detainer lawsuit and the tenant still will not move out, it is important that the landlord not change the locks or personally attempt to force the tenant to leave. While these options might seem tempting, they could easily land the landlord in serious legal trouble. This is why it is always recommended to use a law enforcement officer.
Inspect the unit when the tenant is out. Take pictures and record other details about any damage and issues found during the inspection. State or local law may require that the tenant be present for this. Tenants often also have specific rights concerning inspections.
Even if the tenant violated the lease, state law may still require that the security deposit be returned with an itemized report of any deductions.
Lastly, it is important for landlords to have an in-depth understanding of all their obligations under the lease, state law, and local law. At this stage, the landlord should resolve any other outstanding issues or loose ends. See our Notice to Vacate FAQs for additional information.
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