It's exciting to relocate to a new home, but before you move out of your current apartment, you should provide notice that you're vacating to fulfill your legal requirements of the rental agreement.

If you don't give a 30-day notice to vacate, you might lose your security deposit and even face a costly lawsuit because you didn't pay rent in a timely manner. Continue reading to understand more about this legal document and what the notice satisfies.

What's a Notice to Vacate Letter?

The notice to vacate is your lease termination letter provided by the tenant to the rental property manager or landlord. It gives notice that the tenant is leaving the residence in a specified time frame.

Overall, the lease agreement might require a 60-day notice, a 30-day notice, or another specific amount of time, and the tenant must adhere to that. It could take effect on the end date of that agreement term or on the specific rental due date for a periodic lease. It's up to the tenant to provide proper notice and can help avoid eviction proceedings.

Steps for Giving Notice That You're Moving

steps for giving 30 day notice to landlord

Once the tenant has chosen a move-out date, they should see how far in advance they should tell the landlord. Generally, they require a 30-day notice letter. Before writing it, it's crucial to follow the steps below to ensure that you've adhered to the rental agreement in place:

1. Read the Rental Agreement

Don't simply skim through the lease agreement to find the good parts. Truly read it to ensure that you understand what's contained within. Most apartment complexes that rent on a month-to-month basis require a 30-day move-out notice for the landlord. However, your month-to-month lease terms might specify a 60-day notice, and you must follow that.

If you signed a rental agreement and promised to stay for a specific time with a long way before the terms are up, it's wise to talk to the landlord to reach an agreeable solution. This will pave the way for you to get out of the lease early without breaking the rules.

You can choose to break the lease early, but there could be financial consequences. Examine the lease and find the break lease clause (termination clause). This will outline any penalties you pay for ending that lease before the terms are up. Most landlords let renters leave early with no penalty if they provide a 60-day notice and pay a fee.

Make sure you determine the amount of time the landlord requires. This helps you avoid financial and legal penalties. While 30 days is the most common, landlords can require a 60-day notice or even a 90-day one.

Consider reading over the delivery clause before you move out. This section determines how you will send the notice to the landlord. They might require certified letters or delivery in person. Read the contract carefully and follow the protocols within.

2. Provide Written Notice to the Rental Property Manager

Make it official by providing written notice. Ensure it's not handwritten; you need a formal letter crafted on a computer and printed. Visit your local library or borrow a friend's laptop.

The 30-day notice should cover the areas needed to satisfy all agreement terms with the landlord. You can use a template to help you know where to place the move-out date and ask for the security deposit back. Likewise, it includes your new address, appropriate names, phone numbers, and all the rest.

Ensure that you read the lease terms before the move-out date and leave a forwarding address to your property manager or landlord so that they can send your security deposit back.

The landlord must get a hard copy of your notice. Therefore, you should use certified mail or deliver the 30-day notice to vacate in person.

3. Determine How to Deliver the Notice to Vacate to the Landlord

Though a hard copy is the best way to deliver your 30-day notice to vacate, you can give it to them in person. They can't wonder when the news will arrive or anything else. Plus, you may discuss any concerns and avoid delays.

Sending your notice to vacate by mail is a great option, though it should be certified and signed for when delivered. Then, the landlord cannot say they didn't receive it.

4. Keep Records of the Lease Termination Letter and Lease Agreement

You should make a copy of your 30-day notice and keep it for your own records.

If it has to go out-of-state, you should give an extra seven days to get through the mail. Delivery confirmation is wise here so that you have proof of when the person received it.

What to Include

You should start your letter with the current date, making sure it's 30 days before the move-out day. Then, include your:

  • Name
  • Address and the apartment number
  • City, Zip code, and state

Start with the landlord's or property manager's name and include their full address.

Next, you will need to say that you're vacating the residence at the address specified on the specific date. Mention that you're providing appropriate notice, which was stipulated on the original lease agreement. Include information about when you're leaving your keys and where to send the refundable portion of the deposit and other money owed.

Provide your phone number or email address so that the landlord can contact you with any questions. Then, type out your name and sign it.


How Does the Notice to Vacate Letter Work?

You must provide notice that you're moving out of the residence, regardless of the lease period. This tells the landlord that you're not staying for another term, and it is often 30 days before the move-out day for the rental unit.

How Much Notice Must You Give the Landlord?

How much notice you give the landlord varies based on the lease agreement. Generally, many tenants must provide a 30-day notice to vacate, though it might be 90, 45, or 60 days.

Do You Have to Provide a 30-day Notice to Move Out?

It's wise to give your landlord proper notice to avoid legal and financial consequences. You can review the current contract to see how much time the landlord requires.

How Do You Get the Security Deposit Back?

Most states require a month's rent as the security deposit, and the notice to your landlord should include your new address. This helps things run smoothly, but you could wait up to a month after your move-out date so that the landlord has enough time to check the unit and ensure that there are no damages before the new tenant arrives.

Can You Rescind the 30-day Notice to Vacate if You Change Your Mind?

It's possible to take back the notice to vacate if your landlord will agree to work with you. However, they're not legally bound to do that.

Once you've given written notice to your landlord to vacate the premises, they might begin looking for new tenants. They don't want the unit sitting abandoned because that means less money for them. Therefore, your options are generally limited.

If you must rescind the notice to your landlord, it's best to do so as quickly as possible. Though you can tell them in person, you should still craft a letter so that there's written proof.

Can the Landlord Evict a Tenant?

The landlord must have a reason to evict you, and sending a notice to vacate isn't one of them in and of itself. Likewise, they must provide a written eviction notice and give you 30 days. Local laws might differ, so it's wise to look into them.

Generally, you won't get an eviction on your record if you've followed the terms of your lease agreement. However, you may have to pay early termination fees, which are not the same as being evicted.

Why Have a Notice to Vacate Letter Template

Being a landlord is challenging because there are so many responsibilities involved. Though it's generally up to the tenant to provide a notice to vacate, the landlord must know what they can legally do with that letter.

It's important to have appropriate documentation from the beginning, which includes a lease, security deposit forms, eviction notices, lease termination letters, and rental applications. Likewise, each state is different, so it requires plenty of research to know what you're legally allowed to do.

Often, landlords don't know they can craft a lease termination letter requiring a tenant to move out of the unit at a specified date. Likewise, they must know what to do when they receive one from the tenant.

Regardless, having an ace in the hole is the best solution. DoorLoop can help landlords with all their rental forms. Whether you need commercial leases, sublease agreements, termination letters, rental applications, or something else, you will find it here.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.