Whether it is a change in job, change in circumstance, or just the desire for new surroundings – there are many reasons why people move. That said, for tenants in a rental property, moving is not as simple as picking up and getting out. In fact, each lease agreement will have specific requirements for providing proper notice to landlords. It is also important to note that these requirements have recently changed for Bay Property Management Group tenants in Maryland. Therefore, tenants must read and comply with all terms of the lease and notice to vacate requirements. So, continue reading below as we review notice to vacate rules and what it means for tenants considering relocation.
Changes to Notice to Vacate Requirements in Maryland
Bay Property Management Group oversees rental properties throughout central Maryland as well as Washington DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Previously, all Maryland tenants were required to provide a minimum of 60 days’ notice to vacate. This notice period is vital to facilitating an efficient turnover process, completing necessary inspections, and allowing marketing time to secure a new tenant.
However, Bay Property Management Group has begun to advise tenants that the notice to vacate requirements will change going forward.
Effective immediately, tenants in all Bay Property Management Group properties will be required to provide 90 days’ written notice to vacate.
That said, this applies to all newly generated leases in the future. Additionally, BMG is working diligently to switch over all current tenants to these new notice to vacate requirements as part of the renewal process.
Why is a Notice to Vacate Important?
In the rental industry, the word “vacancy” triggers anxiety in all landlords. Therefore, property owners rely on tenants telling them when they plan on moving or not renewing their lease after expiration. So, this valuable notice period can be used to schedule inspections, necessary repairs, and tours to procure a new tenant with limited downtime. Thus, allowing the landlord to reduce lost income and continue to provide safe and habitable housing for the next resident.
How to Provide Notice to Vacate?
A residential lease is a legally binding contract with certain terms, including notice to vacate requirements. So, if a tenant decides to move, following all lease terms is critical to avoiding penalties. Let’s review the steps involved in providing proper notice below –
- Review the Lease Contract – Depending on the individual landlord, state rules, or the type of lease, notice to vacate requirements will vary. So, the first step for tenants is to understand what is expected of them. For example, the notice period may be as little as 30 days for month-to-month leases, while a fixed-term lease requires up to 90 days.
- Send Written Notice to Vacate – No matter what the notice to vacate requirements are, tenants should notify their landlord in writing. In some cases, a lease or state law may specify how notice must be delivered, but even if it does not, written is best. This helps avoid any confusion or “he said, she said” disputes. Tenants may choose to deliver this notice in person or utilize first-class mail with a return receipt requested. However, just be sure that the landlord receives the notice before the notice period begins to avoid penalties.
What Should a Notice to Vacate Include?
Sending a notice to vacate does require tenants to inform the landlord of specific information regarding their intent to move. Therefore, be sure to include the following in your official notice to vacate –
- Landlord name and delivery address or designated representative as stipulated in the lease agreement.
- Short statement conveying the intent to move
- Expected vacate date
- Request to return any refundable deposits along with a forwarding address
- Tenant signature
Once completed, review all details and dates one final time before delivery. Additionally, be sure to deliver the notice as close to the date on the letter as possible. Remember, the notice is not counted until it is received by the landlord regardless of the date on the document. So, allow plenty of time before the notice period.
What are the Consequences of Not Providing Notice to Your Landlord?
Like any lease clause, failing to adhere to notice to vacate requirements means tenants could face costly consequences. As we mentioned, this notice period is critical for landlords and allows them to minimize the financial burden of finding a new renter. So, if the departing tenant fails to notify the owner per the terms, owners do have some recourse to hold them accountable. Always refer to the lease for specific consequences of not providing proper notice, but these commonly include the following –
- Forfeiture of Security Deposit – The security deposit protects landlords from tenant damage or costly lease breaks. Therefore, a common penalty for violating notice to vacate requirements is losing the security deposit. Without proper notice, these funds help cover expenses for accelerated marketing and turnover or lost rent due to extended vacancy.
- Financial Obligation for the Remainder of the Lease – Depending on the wording of the lease, tenants who fail to provide notice may be responsible for payment for the remainder of the lease or until the owner secures another tenant. That said, this could be a significant amount of money in addition to a tenant’s other related expenses with relocating and paying for a new rental. So, always follow any notice to vacate provisions carefully to ensure compliance.
- Special Fines – Some states allow landlords to charge set financial penalties for failing to provide notice. This can range from a few hundred dollars up to a full month’s rent.
Questions Regarding Notices to Vacate?
As you can see, tenants need to understand and fully comply with all notice to vacate requirements. At Bay Property Management Group, our dedicated team of property managers is here to answer any questions tenants or property owners may have. While we hate to see tenants go, we understand that moving is an inevitable part of owning a rental property. Our goal is to make the transition to a new tenant as smooth as possible for all parties. If you have any questions regarding your lease with Bay Property Management Group or any specific requirements, give us a call today.