How to write a Tenant Notice to Quit: Five Main, Essential Clauses You Must Add

How to Writer a tenant Notice to Quit

Are you thinking of how to write a tenant notice to quit to a tenant, who has been in arrears of rent and have threaten not to pay? There are main, essential clauses you need to know that will help you get it right.

Maybe, you're a landlord or property owner desirous of writing a notice to quit to an erring tenant, but not certain about the right format to use.

Or, you're a solicitor engaged by a client to write a tenant notice to quit, and you're clueless about how to go about it. If you fall in either of this group, this post is for you.

Please Note, there are no specific form of a tenant notice to quit that is all encompassing. But there are certain clauses that must be in all valid tenant notice to quit. 

Before you sit down to write a notice to quit, there are basically two primary issues you have to consider which are capable of either validating the notice or vitiating it if not well handled.

1.    Nature of Tenancy or leasehold

2.   Commencement date.

1.   Nature of Tenancy or Leasehold

Provisions of law governing tenancy and leasehold differ and vary in states and regions. As part of your preparation, ensure you know the applicable laws in your locality . 

Basically, we have three main types of tenancies. They are periodic tenancy, fixed tenancy and tenancy at will.

And periodic tenancy are further categorize into
a.  One month(1) tenant: a tenant who pays rent monthly without a tenancy agreement.
b.  Three months (3) tenant: a tenant who pays rent quarterly without a tenancy agreement
c.   Half-yearly tenant: a tenant who pays rent half-yearly
d.   Yearly tenant: a tenant who pays rent yearly.

The above categories of periodic tenancy are entitle to different types of notices which need to be put into consideration while drafting a notice to quit. The same thing is applicable to a fixed tenant and a tenant at will.

If the tenant is a periodic tenant, it's not mandatory you explain in the notice the reason or reasons why you wants to terminate the tenancy. But where it's agreed upon in the tenancy agreement, you have to give reasons for termination of the tenancy.

2.   Commencement Date

Commencement date of every tenancy is vital.  And it's impossible to ascertain a proper notice without tracing back to the date the tenancy started.

For a periodic tenant, the tenancy commences the day the tenant paid his first rent which is usually stated in the rent receipt. This is not the case in fixed tenancy because the commencement date is often the day the tenancy agreement was signed.

It's the law in some places that a tenant notice quit should terminate on the anniversary of the tenancy. And in order not to issue a notice that will terminate before or after the date of anniversary of the tenancy, you're suppose to know the day the tenancy began to run.

Now, having considered and addressed the above issues, you can now write your notice to quit. And Make sure you include the following clauses:

Five Main, Essential Clauses You Need to Add to a Tenant Notice to Quit

1.   Your Address and Your Tenant's Address

Just like your formal letters, a valid tenant notice to quit must bear your address (as the landlord ) and that of your tenant.

Your address should be at the upper right hand side of the notice. Unless you are a solicitor writing the notice on behalf of your client wherein you have to use your letter headed paper, or you're are filing the notice in court in which case you have to use a court heading.

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 1. Tenant Notice to Quit With Landlord And Tenant Addresses


 2. Tenant Notice to Quit With Solicitor's letter Head

 3. Tenant Notice to Quit with a Heading of Court

It's unimaginable to write a tenant notice to quit without a proper designation. But you don't need landlord's address to be in a notice to quit you will file in court    heading of court and address of the tenant is what you need in this circumstance 

2.   Your Name or The Name of Your Solicitor

Except where a solicitor is writing the notice on your behalf, you should start the notice with your full name.

Your name should come immediately after the heading of the notice. Basically, first paragraph below the heading.

If you're a solicitor writing the notice on behalf of your client, the same rule applies. You don't need to write your name and that of your client. Instead, write your name and let the tenant know you are writing on behalf his landlord.

If you omitted to write your name or your solicitor omitted to write his name at the opening paragraph, it doesn't vitiate the notice    but it makes it voidable.

3.   Designation of the premises

It's important you include the designation of the premises for clarity. If there are other rooms occupied by other tenants in the premises, the one occupied by the defaulted tenant should be specifically stated in the notice.

4. Termination Date

Having noted the commencement date of the tenancy, it's important you write the appropriate termination date in the notice to quit.

Statutorily, a periodic tenant is entitle to a specified term of notice. You need to contact your solicitor to know the requisite number of months, weeks or days as prescribe by law in your area.

Usually, fixed tenancy has termination clause. It carries the exact number of notice the Tenant is entitled to or the landlord will receive from the tenant in case either party wants to determine the tenancy.

5.  Signature

You should ensure you sign your tenant notice to quit before serving it on the tenant.

 An unsigned notice is like every other unsigned document. It more or less a worthless document.

If you're an attorney signing a tenant notice to quit on behalf of your client, you have to state your position just beneath your name.

Still want more guide on how to write a tenant Notice to Quit? Ask a solicitor here.