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Termination notices are required when a landlord wishes to end the lease early. This often happens when a tenant doesn't pay rent on time. Maryland law requires you to use specific notice periods for month-to-month tenancies to ensure that you get the security deposit and get paid rent that is back-owed.

It's crucial to know what to include in the document and how they're treated under state law. Let's learn more!

Lease Termination Letter

A lease termination document is given by a landlord to the tenant to notify them that the agreement is ending. It's required to terminate month-to-month contracts, and you must provide a 30-day notice before the termination date. However, state law doesn't require you to give notice to end a fixed-term agreement on the end date.

Proper Notice

The amount of time you give to the tenant depends on the lease type you have. State laws require the landlord to provide a 30-day notice for a month-to-month lease.

Traditionally, the base tenancy is the period of notification, so week-to-week leases generally require a seven-day notice. For yearly leases, the landlord should give a three-month notice.

There are exceptions for Baltimore City and Montgomery County - here, the landlord should give a two-month notice to end tenancies in those communities.

State Laws

The only law in Maryland focuses on when to send the notice to vacate, which is 30 days for month-to-month and seven days for week-to-week leases. However, the landlord may not terminate a tenant for retaliation purposes or to avoid making repairs and handling maintenance.

Generally, a landlord can provide less notice if the tenant doesn't pay rent or violates the terms of the rental agreement.

Landlord Notice

Yes, you're required to give the tenant 30 days' or seven days' notice before terminating them. Though there are exceptions to the rule, it's generally wise to send a letter to prevent problems or have to go to district court to work things out.

Penalties

Generally, if a landlord doesn't provide a notice to vacate letter, they could face various issues. These include:

  • Court proceedings
  • Legal fees
  • Automatic renewal of the lease
  • A court order to stay away from the tenant until sending a notice to vacate

Termination of Tenancy

Generally, tenants are always under a lease of some sort. Once a yearly lease ends, they are automatically shifted to a monthly one until a new lease is drafted or a notice to vacate is provided.

It's wise to send the document via certified mail or using another method that requires the signature of the recipient. Likewise, you must give the proper notice, which begins from the date stated in the receipt.

Termination of Tenancy with Specific Term

If there's a specific term in play, such as a lease agreement, the landlord must use the information within the lease to break it. However, they may choose not to renew, and this does not require notice if there is no renewal clause in the document.

How to Write One

Termination notices are designed to make it reasonably easy to vacate a dwelling. However, they must feature an ironclad structure to be legal. Ensure that the right information is there so that no one can dispute the letter.

Luckily, a lease termination document is easier to draft than other contracts. Let's learn what to include in yours:

  • Tenant and Landlord Information - You should identify the tenant in the beginning. Write the letter directly to them, but also provide their full name. Likewise, you should include your name and that of the management company if there is one.
  • Date Information - This is probably the most crucial piece of information. It establishes when you created the document and should be shown right after identifying the parties. Likewise, you need a timestamp somewhere that tells you when the tenant received the information. This is the official start date of your 30-day period.
  • Property Information - Though not required, it's wise to provide all identifying information about your property. This consists of the physical address, side streets, county information, unit number, and anything else that will make it easier for the court system to identify.
  • Lease Information - Include the date of when the original lease was signed and when the final day is for that contract.
  • Motive for Termination - Maryland doesn't require landlords to provide a reason for termination. However, it's wise to do so now. This is proof that you're not using this letter to retaliate against the tenant in any way. Likewise, you should do this if you plan to offer extension capabilities, which you learn about below.
  • Proof of Service - Such documents are often delivered via certified mail or through a process server. Before the 30-day period starts, you must get verification that the other party received the letter. There should be a checkbox somewhere that verifies the document was given to the recipient and the date information about when that occurred.
  • Forwarding Address - It's not always necessary to include your address or that of the property management company, but it never hurts. The tenant cannot say they didn't know where to send correspondence later because the address is included in the letter.
  • Potential for Extensions - The landlord is not obligated under Maryland law to provide extra time to the tenant to make things right. However, if you wish to do so, you can include that information in the letter. For example, you might say if the tenant pays all back rent owed on the property, the notice to vacate is null and void.
  • Signatures - To close the residential notice to vacate, there must be a section at the bottom for both parties to sign the document. The landlord should sign it before sending it, but the tenant signs once they receive it. Likewise, include spaces for everyone to date the document and print their names.

Build Your Own

Owning a rental property means having specific documents you work with all the time. Though you may not need a lease termination all the time, DoorLoop has you covered with its three options:

eSignature

If you are terminating your lease and need the tenant to sign, or you want to sign a new lease with a new tenant, you want to make the process as easy and efficient as possible.

With DoorLoop, you can get your agreements eSigned in a few seconds. You can also get to the eSignature step much faster by creating reusable templates that are autofilled with tenants' information.

DoorLoop also makes it so simple to find the best tenants in the first place by syndicating your listings on popular websites Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartments.com, and more. You can also make sure you're bringing in the best tenants by screening your prospects in seconds through DoorLoop.

For more information about DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.

Conclusion

Are you planning to send a notice to vacate letter to your tenant for failure to pay rent or other problems? It's crucial to draft a document that's ironclad and contains the appropriate information.

Maryland has few laws in place regarding the notice data, but you must follow them thoroughly. Otherwise, you could face financial penalties and other issues.

You've learned what a termination letter is, when to use it, and how to write one. Likewise, you found out when to send it, which is a huge concern for many landlords. Now, it's time to craft your own with DoorLoop. Choose one of the above methods and create your notice to vacate today!

FAQs

Should I Use a Termination Letter for a Month-to-Month Tenancy?

You might need a termination letter for month-to-month tenancies. Check the lease agreement to see if there's a fixed term or end date on the contract. If not, you require this letter to terminate the rental agreement.

Do I Need to Give Written Notice to Vacate My Rental Property?

Yes, you're required to give written notice for the other party to vacate the rental property. You've learned of the Maryland notice requirements earlier, which are based on Maryland state law.

How Do I Deliver the Notice to Vacate for My Rental Property?

You may choose to send the Maryland notice to vacate by:

  • Certificate of Service - The certificate is signed by whoever delivers the document.
  • Certified Mail - The USPS issues a receipt once the letter is delivered.

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David Bitton

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!