You should send a notice to vacate letter to your landlord so the property owner understands your plans to vacate the premises soon.
What is a Notice to Vacate?
A tenant Notice to Vacate Letter is a legal document a tenant sends to a landlord to inform of a plan to move out of an apartment, condo, house, or another rental residence.
Tenants typically send this letter 30, 60, or 90 days before the intended move-out date, depending on the requirements of the lease.
It is a good idea to write a notice to vacate letter if:
Your lease is up for renewal: If your lease automatically renews or rolls over to a month-to-month at the end of the lease term, then you should send in a notice of intent to vacate so you don’t end up paying rent for an apartment you no longer live in.
You plan to leave early: Especially if it’s for cause or your landlord was initially okay with you leaving, breaking the lease may subject you to other fees or penalties based on the lease terms. Having your agreement in writing will be essential if you go to court.
You have had a contentious or litigious relationship with the landlord: If your relationship with your landlord is already precarious, it is essential to document everything in case your landlord tries to claim you did not give them proper notice before moving out.
Other names for a notice to vacate letter include:
- Letter to Vacate Premises
- Notice of Intent to Vacate
- Move-Out Notice
Reasons to Send a Notice to Vacate
If you need to break your lease early, you can use a notice to vacate letter to inform your landlord, but be advised that additional fees may apply or you may not get your security deposit back (check your state’s rental laws).
What To Include in a Notice to Vacate Letter
Attention to detail is critical when drafting a notice to vacate. Much of the information referenced in this letter will derive from the original lease agreement, which can be attached if desired.
Review the lease agreement to determine if you can end your lease early or at the end of the lease term. You will want to add the following details to your notice to vacate letter:
Date of the Notice to Vacate
Typically, a notice to vacate goes into effect on the date the document is sent or created. This date should be clearly marked on the actual notice to vacate letter. This should not be confused with the original lease termination date.
Date the Tenant Will Vacate the Property
The tenant must check the lease before choosing a move-out date. The lease may require the tenant to send a notice to vacate a certain number of days before the lease term expires, so the contract doesn’t automatically renew.
Names of Tenants
If there is more than one tenant listed on the lease, make sure the notice to vacate includes the names and signatures of all tenants listed on the lease.
Landlord Information and Address of Leased Property
Check your lease carefully for the landlord’s address. Often, it’s not the same address where you send rent checks, especially if the landlord owns multiple properties or uses a property management company. Also, include the full street address including the apartment number for the property.
Dates on Original Agreement
Highlight the date on which the original lease was made. Don’t forget the original date the lease was set to terminate.
Relevant Lease Clauses
You may want to reference one or more clauses from the lease agreement that indicate the amount of notice you’re required to give before terminating the lease and whether or not a final walkthrough with the landlord is needed. When in doubt, include the original lease agreement to verify details from the lease. This will ensure that nothing is left to question.
This is where you will receive your security deposit and any other mail that needs to be sent to you.
Date of Letter
Date the letter is sent and proof of service. Use the proof of service as evidence of the date and method of delivery of the notice to vacate letter to the landlord. An affidavit of service will verify when and how the notice was given to your landlord.
Notice to Vacate Sample
Below, you can find what a notice to vacate typically looks like:
Notice to Vacate Example Letter
Below is an example of a notice to vacate letter:
In this case, the tenant (Ella Baker) informs her landlord (Justine King) of her intention to vacate the property at the end of the rental period so the lease doesn’t automatically renew.
Use our step-by-step document builder to easily and quickly create a customized notice to vacate letter that you can send to your landlord.
How to Write a Notice to Vacate Letter
Before filling out a notice to vacate letter, ensure you write the state you are in at the top of your form. Additionally, date the document with the month, day, and year you fill out the form.
Step 1 – Provide Delivery Method
1. Method of Delivery. Choose the method of delivery of this notice to the landlord. Personal delivery is when you give (personally hand) the notice directly to the landlord. Substituted delivery is when you give the notice to someone other than the landlord at the landlord’s office or home. Posted delivery is when you post (nail, tape, attach) the notice to the landlord’s front door. Registered and certified mail is delivery you can use through the U.S. postal service.
Step 2 – Fill in Landlord Details
2. Landlord Name. Write the full name of the landlord. This is the party who owns the property you are renting or leasing.
3. Landlord Address. Enter the landlord’s current mailing address.
Step 3 – Identify Lease Agreement Details
4. Lease Agreement Title. Provide the full name/title of the original lease or rental agreement you entered into with the landlord.
5. Lease Agreement Date. Fill in the date you entered into the original lease or rental agreement. In most cases, this is the date you and the landlord signed the agreement.
6. Property Address. Write the street (physical) address of the property you are leasing or renting. Include any unit or apartment number, if applicable.
Step 4 – Enter Vacate Details
7. Vacate Date. Enter the date you plan to vacate or leave the property, and indicate whether that date is before or at the end of the lease term.
8. Vacate Reason. This is optional, but you can provide the reason for terming the lease or rental agreement. Providing a reason is helpful if the tenant wants to terminate the lease before the end of the lease term.
Step 5 – Write Security Deposit and Notices Information
9. Where to Forward Security Deposit. Provide the full name and address of where the landlord should forward any security deposit and notices.
Use our document builder to create a notice to vacate in minutes.
Notice to Vacate Letter FAQs
Can a 30-day notice be handwritten?
You can hand-write a 30-day notice to vacate letter, but we recommend typing or printing it because it looks more professional. The most important thing is that your notice to vacate letter contains all the details noted above.
How much does it cost to produce a notice to vacate letter?
Writing your letter costs nothing, and our downloadable templates are free. You will only be out the cost of mailing your notice to vacate letter.
The best way to lower moving costs is to ensure you deliver your notice to vacate letter in plenty of time so your lease doesn’t automatically renew.
Can I state my complaints about building management in the notice to vacate property letter?
No, you shouldn’t include any complaints about the building management in a notice to vacate letter since it’s a formal document that serves as a record of your leaving the property. If needed, you can contact your landlord or building manager about your concerns separately.
Do I need to write a notice to vacate letter? What happens if I don’t?
You do not need to write a notice to vacate unless your lease requires one. However, we always recommend putting this notice in writing because it ensures you and your landlord are on the same page about your plans.
Ensure you are following all the guidelines in your lease agreement and documenting each part of the process.