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Common Notices for Landlords and When to Use Them for Your Tenants

Common Notices for Landlords and When to Use Them for Your Tenants

Throughout the course of any landlord-tenant relationship, there comes a time where written notice is required. These notices come in many forms and serve a variety of purposes. Regardless, it is a good idea for landlords to send these notices via certified mail with a return receipt to serve as verifiable proof. Below we take a look at some of the commonly written notices for landlords to send, regulations to be aware of, plus sample documents to get you started!

Common Types of Notices for Landlords

Contracts used to rely on a handshake. However, for a landlord, additional protections are needed to protect your valuable rental property investment. Ensure that whatever notice you send complies fully with all federal, state, and local laws that govern rental relationships. That said, let’s review some common notices for landlords below.

  1. Notice to Pay or Quit
  2. Notice to Cure or Quit
  3. Renewal Offers
  4. Rent Increase Notice
  5. Letter of Non-Renewal
  6. Notice of Entry, Repairs, or Outages
  7. Disposal of Abandoned Personal Property
  8. Transfer of Ownership or Management

Notice to Pay or Quit

When the tenant is late paying their monthly rent, pay or quit notice is sent. This takes place after the grace period allowed by the lease has expired. Thus, beginning the first steps towards eviction proceedings. Therefore, this notice informs the tenant to pay within a certain timeframe, based on local laws, or the landlord will continue the eviction process.

Notice to Cure or Quit

If the tenant violates their lease agreement, this is a serious offense that requires the landlord to take action. This action starts by sending a notice to cure or quit. Basically, this lets the tenant know they have a certain amount of time to “cure” the problem, or the landlord will seek eviction for the lease violation.

Renewal Offers

As the lease term comes to an end, landlords decide whether to offer the current tenants a renewal. Generally, landlords send a lease renewal offer around 60 days before the end of the lease term. This allows you plenty of time to begin preparing for turnover and marketing should the tenant chose to vacate.

Rent Increase Notice

If the current lease auto-renews, landlords wishing to increase rent for the next term must send written notice. This rent increase notice is typically sent 30 to 60 days in advance. However, keep in mind that local jurisdictions, or even state law, may require a different timeframe. Consider rent increases carefully as too drastic a jump could force a great tenant to vacate, leaving you scrambling to replace them.

Letter of Non-Renewal

There are times when a landlord may not want to offer a renewal, for reasons such as avoiding the eviction process, wanting to sell the property, or make renovations to improve the value. Therefore, when this occurs, landlords must provide ample written to the existing tenants that outlines the reason for non-renewal and a move-out by date. Generally speaking, each state will have its own guidelines for how much notice is required. So, ensure you thoroughly review your local restrictions regarding notices for landlords.

Notice of Entry, Repairs, or Outages

A proper rental agreement includes a clause for entry into the home by the landlord. Apart from emergencies, standard practice is to provide at least 24 hours’ notice. In addition to being courteous, a minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required by most state laws. Notice of intent to enter does not have to be sent via mail and could go through an email or text. However, regardless of how it is sent, ensure the tenant confirms and is aware you will stop by. When a maintenance specialist needs to enter to make necessary repairs, coordinate a time and date with your tenants. If said repairs require any essential services such as electricity or water to be temporarily interrupted, landlords must let the tenant know.

Disposal of Abandoned Personal Property

In a case where tenants vacate but leave items behind, the landlord cannot just toss out the property. Due diligence is important here as each jurisdiction can vary in their specific requirements. If the property is truly abandoned, a landlord then sends a notice of their intent to discard the tenant’s property. Again, state requirements differ, but describe the property in question and instruct the tenant on the next steps. Some areas require a landlord to store property for a set time. So, tenants need to know how to retrieve their property if they want it and how long they have to do so.

Transfer of Ownership or Management

When a landlord is represented by a property manager or firm and that entity changes, tenants need to receive a notification. This notice informs the tenant where to send any rent payments and who their point of contact is moving forward. If the property is sold, that can prove a little more complicated. Unless the rental agreement specifically states so, a lease does not automatically terminate when a property is sold. Therefore, the new owner assumes the landlord position for the duration of the lease. So, this notice serves to notify them of the current circumstances and how it affects them.

Maryland State Regulations Regarding Notices for Landlords to Tenants

Each state has its own rules, requirements, and regulations for various types of notices for landlords to tenants. Therefore, landlords must diligently research laws to ensure compliance with any notice they send. Interested in free fillable notices for landlords? Many online resources are available to help landlords send a legal notice to their tenants. Continue reading as we review a few Maryland regulations on notices for landlords.

Termination of Tenancy by Landlord

  • Definite Term Tenancy with No Renewal – Requires 30 day written notice.
  • No Fixed Term Tenancy – Requires 30 day written notice.
  • Month-to-Month Tenancy – Requires 30 day written notice before the end of the month a tenant is to leave.
  • Year-to-Year Tenancy – Requires 90 day written notice.

Termination of Tenancy Due to Breach of Lease

Landlords, having discovered a breach of lease, will issue a notice to the tenant. This written notice is a 30-day breach of lease notice. It includes the landlord’s intent to terminate the tenancy and states the alleged violation of the lease. The landlord can give this written 30-day breach notice immediately upon discovery of the breach.

Modifications to the Lease

The most common lease modification is a rent increase. However, if a landlord wants to increase the rental amount, they must wait for the current lease term’s expiration. Any modification requests follow the same requirements of a lease termination below –

  • Definite Term Tenancy with No Renewal – Requires 30 day written notice.
  • No Fixed Term Tenancy – Requires 30 day written notice.
  • Month-to-Month Tenancy – Requires 30 day written notice prior to the end of the month a tenant is to leave.
  • Year-to-Year Tenancy – Requires 90 day written notice.

Death of Landlord or Tenant

If the lease does not specifically state otherwise, the death of a party passes the responsibilities under the lease to their successor or estate. Generally speaking, a tenant or landlord’s death does not automatically terminate a lease agreement and does not terminate their responsibilities. However, if a tenant dies without a will or next of kin, it is up to the landlord to seek a summary ejectment to end the lease.

Final Thoughts

The moral of the story regarding notices for landlords is to do your homework. An improper or poorly timed notice can spell disaster and cause unnecessary stress for both parties. Regardless of the reason for sending the notice, it is up to the landlord to foster a professional and cordial landlord-tenant relationship. Is this an area where you struggle as a landlord? Consider leaving all of this to the professionals. Bay Property Management Group takes the day to day interactions off of a property owners’ plate. Thus, freeing them up to chase the next big deal or sit back and relax. Our experienced staff handles all aspects from marketing to maintenance while balancing an owner’s best interest with tenant satisfaction. We stay up to date on all changing laws and regulations to ensure you are covered. Give us a call today to find out more.