What is Notice to Quit?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 June 2020
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A notice to quit is a formal document that advises a tenant of the landlord’s intent to reclaim possession of the property where the tenant currently resides. In many communities, a document of this type is a forerunner to the formal process of eviction. In the event that the tenant chooses to comply, the landlord does not have to proceed with the eviction process, a legal process that can be somewhat expensive.

There are several reasons why a landlord would serve a tenant with a notice to quit. The most common reason is the repeated failure of the tenant to pay the agreed-upon monthly rental in a timely manner. A notice to quit may also be issued in the event that the actions of the tenant threaten the well-being of other tenants residing in or near the rental property. For example, if a tenant in an apartment building insists on playing loud music late at night, the landlord may determine that he or she is causing undue inconvenience for the other tenants in the building, and ask the tenant to seek living accommodations elsewhere. Should the lease specifically forbid having a pet in the rental unit, and the landlord finds the tenant does have a pet, there is a good chance that the landlord will issue a notice to quit, and ask the tenant to vacate the premises within a reasonable amount of time.

It is important to note that laws governing the eviction process vary from one jurisdiction to another. In some communities, the process can take several months and cost the landlord a great deal of money. In other areas, eviction is a relatively simple process that requires the landlord to pay modest fees in order for law enforcement to handle the eviction. Just about all situations do require that a landlord present a written notice to quit or vacate before attempting to involve law enforcement.

The contents of a notice to quit will vary slightly, depending on laws and regulations that are currently in force in the municipality. Generally, the notice carries a specific date, and will provide the reason that the landlord is asking the tenant to vacate the premises. In addition, the document will also provide a specific date by which the tenant is to have removed his or her possessions from the property, and returned the keys to the landlord. It is not unusual for the notice to quit to also note that is the terms outlined in the document are not followed, the landlord will proceed with formal eviction proceedings.

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Post 4

I agree that there are some properties that do an eviction without rhyme or reason, but your lease should clearly state why you could possibly be evicted. In your case, it might have gone beyond just a bit of noise. While you're right that one should expect SOME noise in an open community, the truth is that you should also be mindful of other people's lives. If that doesn't suit you - rent a house.

Post 3

@lmorales - I just want to say that there are some leasing agents or office staff that do this just to get "bad seeds" off their property. It's despicable. We were given a notice to pay or quit, but without a just cause or reason. I think it was because we might have just been loud, but when you live in a community with literally hundreds of families you should expect a little noise.

Post 2

@doppler - I've been on both sides of the fence on this one as I have been both an (almost) evicted tenant and a leasing agent. There are some people that get in on specials, like no deposit, prorated rent, etc., that will just live out the special and then skip. The reality of a full eviction or breaking a lease is that any violations like this WILL go on your credit record - sometimes even if you pay it. So just be careful and always keep an eye on your credit!

Post 1

When you're renting from a landlord or apartment complex there is a specific way that the Eviction process must go. A 3 day notice to quit is issued which here (South Texas) it's usually taped to the door. Eventually as the court date draws near and you don't pay rent or what have you, an officer or deputy will have to hand deliver a Notice to Vacate.

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