Turning out a tenant is an awkward part of being a landlord. It is a nasty ordeal which has to be dealt with politely yet with authority. However, many are still at a loss as to how to properly write an eviction letter that sums it all yet protects the landlord from any future judicial complaints from the tenant. Even yet, many are confused about what an eviction letter really is.
What is an eviction letter
An eviction letter is an official notice from the landlord to the tenant basically informing the the termination of his lease. The letter contains the particular date of the termination of the tenancy, the reasons for the eviction, the remedies that the tenant may undertake to remedy the eviction and the judicial action that the landlord may seek, should the tenant fail to vacate the premises on the date specified should the tenant fail to comply with the notice.
Know your rights and that of your tenant
Before you begin to write, you should first know the laws that govern eviction process in your specific state or country. The eviction laws vary from state to state in the United States and also for some categories of housing. Contact the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for the specific laws that apply to your case if you are uncertain about your situation.
State the reason(s) for the eviction
The letter should open with the information that the tenant has violated the terms and conditions of his lease. State the specific reason for his violation, i.e. delinquency of payments for a specific period and stating the amount of the delinquency and the due date and some other reasons which violate the tenancy agreement.
Inform the tenant of the remedies to undertake
If you want the tenant to remedy the situation to halt the eviction, you should list down the things he must undertake within the legal time-frame allowed for your state. The law usually allows 30 to 90 days within which to vacate the premises or settle the delinquency, depending on the reason for eviction. For major violations such as involving drugs and alcohol, some specific state laws should be adhered to. One should remember that receiving partial payment for delinquent accounts would impede the eviction process. Hence, to collect the remaining balance you have to let a month or so pass to be able to issue another eviction notice.
Indicate the specific date and legal action
If you wish to evict the tenant regardless of whether he settles his delinquencies or make amends for his misdemeanor, you should state the specific date you wish him to vacate the premises. You should also state what legal action you will take up should he fail to comply with the notice.
Be courteous but firm
You have to bear in mind that the eviction letter instigates the whole eviction process. Hence, while you may consider it as a nasty ordeal, you still have to maintain a polite tone in the way you phrase your words. However, you also need to refrain from sounding soft and indecisive. Your letter should be formal, concise and authoritative.
Format and style of the letter counts
The format of the letter is as important as the content of your eviction letter. Your letter should be in the customary formal business style writing. It should contain the complete name and address of the tenant, formal salutations, brief body of the letter and complete name and signature of the landlord at the end. Moreover, you should reiterate and summarize the objective of your letter in the last part of the notice.
Lastly, you should ensure that the tenant will receive your letter. Hence if the tenant is unable to personally receive the letter (you left it pinned to the door or under the door), you should send a second copy of the letter through certified mail. You should also make sure that you retain a copy of the letter since it will serve as proof in legal proceedings, should the matter necessitates the intervention of the court.