As a landlord, there are many things that can warrant sending out a notice.
Some of these things include unauthorized pets, late rent payments, or unpaid fees.
All of these are enough for a landlord to issue a written notice to the tenant. Another case, which is not very common compared to others, is issuing a proper notice of abandonment.
If you are unsure of what a notice of abandonment is, you have come to the right place.
In this guide, we will be going over exactly what a notice of abandonment is, as well as what constitutes the sending of one. We will even provide you with a free template for you to use.
So, to get started, let's review what an abandonment notice is.
What is a Notice of Abandonment?
A Notice of Abandonment is a written notice that is issued when a tenant abandons a property, or when the property is deemed abandoned. This essentially means that the tenant leaves the property before the end of the lease agreement without notifying the landlord. Having such documentation comes in handy in case legal action needs to be taken.
When this happens, there is a process that must be followed before being able to re-occupy the rental property. This process extends further than just giving the lessor written notice of abandonment and, if not done correctly, can even lead to a lawsuit.
The first thing that must be done when you suspect that the tenant's property has been abandoned is to display a notice on the property where it can clearly be seen. The notice should state that the tenant has abandoned the property and has a limited time to return. By doing this, the landlord is protected from unlawfully evicting the tenant and cannot face a lawsuit.
The notice must also be sent through certified mail to any addresses associated with the tenant. You then need to give the tenant five business days to respond before moving on with the eviction. To proceed as quickly as possible, many landlords choose first class mail, which delivers very quickly.
However, it is important to realize when a landlord or property manager is actually allowed to issue this notice. In the next section, we will discuss some of the things that can lead to the issuing of a notice of abandonment.
When to Serve a Notice of Abandonment
Before deciding if a property has been abandoned, there are a few steps that should be taken. Taking these steps will allow you to ensure that the tenant has abandoned the property and that you can proceed with any other actions.
The first step is to consider whether the tenancy has ended or has expired. If the tenancy has expired, then you do not have to worry about abandonment. It simply means that the tenant has reached the end of the lease term and has left the property. At this point, the tenant stops paying rent and simply moves out of the property, terminating the tenancy.
Now, if you discover that the tenant has simply moved out of the rented property with no notice and before the lease expires, you may be dealing with abandonment. In this case, there are some further steps that should be taken. If you see that the tenant has not entered the property for seven days and they did not pay rent for ten days, you can issue the notice.
Also, if you notice that the possessions are missing from the property, the conditions change. You can issue the notice after only five days of the tenant being gone and five days of rent not being paid. At this point, the lessor's notice has been issued and if the lessee fails to respond, they can get evicted.
So, now that we know about when landlords are able to issue these notices, let's go over some of the things that should always be included in one of these notices.
What to Include in a Notice of Abandonment
After deciding whether to issue the notice of abandonment or not, it is time to actually begin writing one. This part is very important as there are many things that must be included to make it a property notice.
Below, we have listed everything that must be included when writing a notice of abandonment.
As with any notice, you should always provide some sort of introduction. This should always include your name, a postal address, and the date. It should also include all of the same information for the tenant.
Then, you should include a short statement explaining what the notice is for. It should be straightforward and explain exactly the purpose of the notice.
After the introduction, the landlord should include a section explaining the reasoning behind sending the notice. Since this is a notice of abandonment, the reasoning will usually be pretty general.
For example, you can put that the tenant has not been present in the property for a number of days and that there are little to no belongings present. Or, you can put that the tenant has been absent and that there is absolutely no reasonable evidence that the tenant is still living there.
It is important that you choose the reasoning wisely as it can be disputed in a court of law by the tenant.
Then, it is important that you include a section on the legal information pertaining to abandonment in your state. This is vital because the tenant must know which law or statute they are violating when receiving the notice.
Also, you must check your local and state laws to make sure you are including enough information about the legality of the abandonment. After including information about the legal matter, you can include information about the consequences of the tenant's actions.
This means that the landlord should include information about what would happen if the tenant does not respond. Landlords will usually include a timeframe here of how long the tenant has to respond before they get evicted.
Finally, since it is so important that the tenant gets a hold of this notice, a section about where the notice was posted should also be included. This section is mostly to protect the landlord from lawsuits. These lawsuits can arise when the landlord does not properly alert the tenant about the abandonment and the consequences.
Some forms of transmission that can be listed here include certified mail or first class mail, posted on the property, or personally delivered. Then, to finish it off, the landlord will include their signature and the date.
Want to get your hands on a free template that you can use yourself? Simply visit DoorLoop's Resources Page to quickly find a template for the notice of abandonment. Create an account and get started in just a few minutes.