Notice to pay rent or quit 2023 (guide & free samples)

This post covers notice to pay rent or quit.

Did you know that 8.4 million Americans were unable to pay their monthly rent between June 1 and June 13, 2022,? (source)

I think that is the hardest challenge that you will face as a landlord.

The good news is the laws in all state allows you to evict a habitually nonpaying tenant.

But before embarking on eviction processes, you must first serve your tenant with a late rent notice and, if that fails, a notice to pay rent or quit.

Here I will walk you through everything you need to know about giving the notice to pay rent or quit, including

  • What is a notice to pay rent or quit
  • why do you need it
  • when do you need it
  • What if your notice does not work
  • how to write a strong notice to pay rent or quit
  • how to effectively serve a notice to pay rent or quit
  • notice to pay rent or quit sample
  • etc.

Related: Increasing rent letter (guide + free samples)

Let’s get started

What is a notice to pay rent or quit

A notice to pay rent or quit is a brief statement of facts written by a landlord to notify a tenant that they are in breach of their lease for failing to pay rent and must pay up or leave.

Before sending a notice to pay rent or quit, it is best to contact the tenant first to find out why they are late paying rent. If you pay by check, it could have been mailed late or there could be other issues.

Whatever the reason for the late rent, it is always recommended to contact the tenant on a personal level to get their side of the story.

Why do you need the notice to pay rent or quit?

A notice to pay rent or quit is a last-resort letter in which you remind and warn the tenant that he must pay the past-due rent or vacate the premises immediately.

It is a reasonable and last resort that the tenant pays his or her due rent immediately before resorting to coercive measures.

As a result, a strong notice to pay rent or quit can be beneficial in the following ways;

  1. It may help you keep a positive relationship with your tenant.
  2. It may help you stay away from the time-consuming, expensive, and stressful eviction process.
  3. Compliance

When do you need the notice to pay rent or quit

You need the notice to pay rent or quit when you want to evict your tenant who is a habitually late payer.

Failure to pay one month’s rent is not enough to evict a tenant in many states, but you can still communicate with the tenant by phone, email, or letter to remind them to pay the rent.

If, on the other hand, your tenant is habitually late paying rent—usually for two months or more—you can serve a notice to pay rent or quit on your tenant.

Duration of  the notice to pay rent or quit

Each state has its own rules regarding how much time you must give the tenant to comply with your notice.

  • Immediately, for example, Georgia West Virginia, New Jersey, and Missouri 
  • Some states require three days’ notice to pay rent or quit; (for example, California, Florida, Idaho, Connecticut, Mississippi, Ohio, New Mexico, etc.)
  • Others require five days (for example, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, etc.)
  • 6 Days- Oregon
  • Others require 7 days, for example, Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Michigan, etc.
  • Ten days for example Indiana, Colorado, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania
  • Fourteen days–  Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington, etc,
  • Fifteen Days- Hawaii
  • 3o daysWashington D.C. 

The timeframe requires a tenant to pay the rent within the specified time frame or else leave the premises, or “quit.”

What if your notice to pay rent or quit does not work

If your notice to pay rent or quit fails, you will almost certainly have to terminate your lease agreement by taking the following legal action.

  • commence an eviction process
  • Filing an Unlawful Detainer

NB: Your state, city, or town may have its own laws and regulations on this subject; therefore, consult a local attorney before taking action against a tenant.

How to write a notice to pay rent or quit

There are two ways through which you can write your notice to pay rent or quit- as a form or formal letter.

Writing a notice to pay rent or quit is simple if you use a specially designed form, or you can have an attorney or online service provider prepare one for you. The forms are sometimes available at the eviction or housing court.

REMEMBER! The purpose of your notice to pay rent or quit is to notify the tenant that they must pay rent or move.

So, in order to write a strong notice to pay rent or quit (whether in the context of a form or a letter), do the following.

  • Provide your name, address, and contact information
  • Include the date of the notice
  • Include the tenant’s  names, addresses, and contact information
  • Provide the rental property address, including unit number  if applicable
  • Cleary states the amount due.
  • Provide any late fees or pending late fees for failing to pay within the lease’s time frame.
  • Provide the details on how the tenant should pay the money
  • Explain what will happens if he fails to heed your notice
  • Maintain a professional tone
  • Be honest

How to effectively serve a notice to pay rent or quit

Service of your notice to pay rent or quit is as important as its content.

The following are the effective ways to serve your notice to a tenant

  • Hand-deliver the notice to the tenant(s) at their rental or place of work.
  • If the tenant(s) cannot be found, the landlord may serve the notice on anyone over the age of 18 at the rental or the tenant’s place of employment. If this is done, the landlord is also required to mail the notice.
  • If the tenant(s) cannot be located and there is no one over the age of 18 to hand deliver the notice to, the landlord may post the notice in a prominent location on the rental unit. If this is done, the landlord is also required to mail the notice.
  • Use a process server or sheriff
  • Serving the tenant by mail ( make sure you use the mail address indicated in your lease agreement) 

It’s recommended to attach a Certificate of Service 

Failure to serve the tenant in one of these ways may result in the court refusing to accept the notice as effective.

What can a tenant do after receiving a notice to pay rent or quit?

A tenant may respond to a notice to pay or quit in a variety of ways.

  • The tenant may pay the rent within the time frame specified in the notice. You cannot proceed with the eviction if the tenant chooses to pay.
  • The tenant could vacate the rental unit within the timeframe specified in the notice. If the tenant fails to pay the rent, you may use the security deposit to cover the rent charges and sue the tenant for any outstanding amount.
  • The tenant has the option of not paying rent or moving out of the rental unit. Here you may proceed with the eviction after the time limit has expired.

Notice to pay rent or quit sample

[3/5/7/10/14/30/DAYS] NOTICE TO PAY RENT OR VACATE

Date:…………………

To

Name:…………………….
Address:………………….
Contact:…………………..

I’m writing to inform you that we have not received your three months rent payment for House No. 1 at 101 Street Avenue, which was due on ___(insert due date)___. This payment is due from _____ to.

According to the terms of your rental agreement, you must also pay a $______ late rent fee. When combined with the rent payment, the total of ______ is due by  (date)

Kindly send the total amount owed to the following address:

[your address]

I respectfully request that you pay the entire balance due within 3/5/7/10/14/30/ calendar days of receipt of this letter, or vacate the premises.

If you fail to heed to this letter within the prescribed time, eviction proceedings will be initiated against you.

Please contact me at [email] or [phone] if you have any questions or believe there has been an error.

Sincerely

[signature]

[your name]

[Your Adress]

Notice to pay rent or quit pdf

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Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of sherianajamii.com. Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion