What is a Three Day Notice?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
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  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2018
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A three day notice or three day eviction notice may also be called a pay or quit notice. This is a form of notifying a renter who has not paid the rent or who is conducting illegal activity on the premises that he or she is in violation of the lease agreement and has three days to leave the property. There are variations of these notice forms and laws in many US states and other countries to help landlords evict renters who are in clear violation of rental agreements.

In many places, the three day notice must be legally “served” to the offending tenant or, at minimum, hand delivered with a witness present. The notice is not automatically an eviction notice because it does give the renter an opportunity to remedy situations that can be fixed. For instance, a person behind on his rent is essentially given three business days, not counting the day of delivery of the notice, to pay the past due rent.


Some situations are such open violations of lease agreements that a three day notice truly does mean the person must leave the apartment in three business days. If a person has been convicted of committing illegal activity on the premises or has created extreme nuisance behavior, he or she may be evicted with this notice, even if the rent is paid. In order for this to work, a rental agreement must state that the agreement becomes void if the renter acts in certain ways.

Some places allow tenants to file a response to the three day notice, which can then take time to process and will delay eviction. Filing a response largely depends upon the location where the tenant lives in and its specific legal provisions. If a person feels that he has received a three day eviction notice in error, as for nuisance behavior or alleged illegal activities he didn’t commit, he should check with state or regional agencies that offer fair housing or renting information to see if there are methods available to prevent an eviction. If a tenant disregards the notice, the landlord will still have to follow through with the formal eviction process to have the tenant evicted.

In most cases, the notice is delivered because of a failure to pay rent, and most landlords will offer a certain amount of grace period on rent due. If a tenant is going to have difficulty meeting his rent obligations, he may try talking to the landlord to see if he or she is willing to help work out some form of payment plan that will help the tenant get back on track. Once the three day notice is filed, this kind of conversation is unlikely to have positive results. It’s better for a tenant to be upfront and ask a landlord in advance if he can have extra time to pay the rent.

People who are habitually behind on rent are more likely to get served a pay or quit notice, and probably less likely to be able to negotiate with a landlord. If a landlord serves this notice, but still wants to evict a tenant who habitually doesn’t pay the rent, he or she serves the pay or quit notice first. When a renter pays the amount, the landlord would then have to inform the renter he must leave with a formal eviction notice that gives the renter 30 days to vacate the property.


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Discuss this Article

Post 13

@anon290855: Either show them a copy of your canceled check or the receipt you got from the office when you paid your rent.

Post 12

What can I do if I paid my rent on time but they posted my payment under a different tenant and they sent me a three-day notice to pay or quit?

Post 11

If you don't honor you rental agreement, don't pay rent, and live like a pig, the landlord should have to kick you out, in less than three days.

Post 10

I got a three day notice in the state of New York. Does that mean I have to get out in three days?

Post 9

I got a 3 day notice and the manager sent back my rent certified mail. Do I get a 30 day notice or does this mean I am homeless with my furniture outside?

Please help me.

Post 8

I received a three day notice to pay or quit. I quit and had everything out of my unit and cleaned the unit. Now the landlord is telling me he's charging me for the entire month as well as seven days extra. Is that legal?

Post 7

If your lease is up and you give your landlord a 30 day notice in writing, then the next day he posts a three day notice and you move out on the 4th of the month, do you still need to pay the rent that month that you were there for four days.

Post 6

if i receive a 3 day notice to quit in san antonio, texas, does that mean i have to be out in three days? it would be for non-payment of rent.

Post 5

I received a three days notice to pay rent. If I pay rent, can the owner give me another notice that it says that I have to quit the property? Thanks.

Post 4

what if you informed your landlord that you couldn't afford to live there but, we will move out after the first. can he still give you a three day notice?

Post 3

you can't - you'll end up in court, unless you landlord is a mug. Pay your rent.

Post 2

if you have paid half of the rent and have asked the landlord for another week to come up with the rest and he is still telling you he is going to give you a 3 day notice, can you be evicted?

Post 1

I have a three day notice... And i need time to pay rent... What can i do to delay eviction?

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