A lease termination notice is a written notice from the landlord delivered to the tenant which asks the tenant to take action, such as pay rent or leave the premises. For instance, a common termination notice is the 3 day pay rent or quit notice. This notice asks the tenant to pay rent or to move out within in 3 days. If the tenant does not comply with the termination notice in the time provided, then the landlord may file an unlawful detainer action.

What Are the Requirements of a Valid Termination Notice?

For a termination notice to be valid, it must: 

  • Be in writing
  • Have the proper title
  • State the name of the tenant
  • State the address of the premises
  • The notice must be signed and dated by the landlord
  • The service of the notice to terminate must be proper

What Types of Termination Notices Are There?

There are many different types of termination notices. Each state and city may have different notice requirements for the same type of eviction. Listed below are some of the most common types of termination notices with the most common amount of time that the notice must be given:

  • Notice to pay rent or quit: The tenant must be behind on rent to use this notice. The notice must state exactly how much rent is owed and for which dates the rent is owed. The notice must also state that the lease will be surrendered if the tenant does not pay the rent within a specified period of time. The notice will not be valid if it seeks rent that was due more than a year ago or if it asks for more money than is owed.
  • Notice to perform covenants or quit: This notice can be issued if the tenant broke a condition of the lease and has the ability to correct the problem. The notice must state exactly how the tenant broke the lease, must give the tenant some time to correct the problem or move out, and must tell the tenant that the lease will be surrendered if the problem is not corrected.
  • Notice to quit: This notice can be issued if the tenant violated the terms of his lease or if his lease is over. If the lease is up, the landlord usually must give 30 to 60 days notice. A landlord may also be able to issue a notice to quit if the tenant violated the lease by:

Should I Consult a Lawyer?

Landlord-tenant laws tend to be rather complex and vary from city to city. Before taking action to terminate a lease as a landlord, you should consult an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer or real estate attorney to learn exactly what type of notice is required for your situation. If you are a tenant who has been served a termination notice, the same type of lawyer can help determine if the notice is proper and advise you of your rights in the eviction process.