Issuing a Notice of Abandonment
The notice of abandonment is a formal legal document that you can use if you have decided to terminate a tenancy. In most cases, only landlords are required to issue notices of abandonment, but tenants can also do so as long as they have permission from their landlords.
What is it?
A notice of abandonment is a document that is used to notify a tenant that their tenancy has been terminated. It is issued when the tenant has left the property without paying rent or when the landlord wants to end the tenancy agreement.
A Notice of Abandonment must be issued by a landlord within 14 days of discovering that their property has been abandoned by its occupants unless there are reasonable grounds for believing that no one was living at the premises at any time during the previous 14 days.
Why should you issue a Notice of Abandonment?
- It allows you to terminate the lease agreement.
- It allows you to re-rent the property.
- It allows you to sell the property at a later date if desired, with no tenant present to claim their personal belongings or object to any changes made by the new buyer (such as painting walls).
It allows you to take legal action against the tenant if they do not vacate the property by the date specified in your notice. Each state has different requirements so it’s important to create a notice of abandonment specific to your location.
When can you issue an Abandonment Notice?
The most common reason for issuing an abandonment notice is because the tenant has moved out, but has not paid rent or made any repairs. If this happens, it’s best to wait at least 30 days before filing for eviction in court (and giving them time to come back).
State laws may differ slightly on timing, but if they don’t return by then and still haven’t paid their owed rent or made any repairs required by law, then you can file for eviction based on nonpayment of rent or another breach of lease terms such as damaging property beyond normal wear-and-tear during their stay–but only after sending them written notice at least 14 days prior (30 days if it’s your first notice).
How to serve an Abandonment Notice
To serve a notice, you will need to know the tenant’s address. If the tenant has moved out and left no forwarding address, you will have to mail it to their last known address.
If you are unable to find or reach your tenant in person, there are two ways that you can serve them with this notice:
- By regular mail (postal service)
- By certified mail, with return receipt requested
It’s important to know when you can issue a Notice of Abandonment and how to serve it. If you need help with this process, review our landlord-tenant laws for your state.