Landlord “Notice to Quit” FAQ and State Laws

This article will briefly explain the beginning of the eviction process, what is a “Notice to Quit” and provide a list of each state’s requirements with regard to the length of time within which a tenant is to be permitted with the ability to “cure” – to make payment, vacate the premises or otherwise remedy certain types of problems that are of concern a landlord.

What Is A Notice To Quit ?

A Notice to Quit is the first step, required by law, that a landlord must take in order to regain possession of rental property. There are three types of Notices to Quit which are provided on through this site in the legal forms section as well and also commonly available at local courts.

Why Do We Have A Notice To Quit ?

When a tenant does not pay rent or abuses the property, a landlord is entitled to take legal action to protect the real estate investment. Basic law requires that the tenant must get notice of the problem concerning the landlord and have a reasonable chance to correct it or leave the premises. This prevents misunderstandings from being brought to court and wasting valuable court time.

When Should A Landlord Use A Notice To Quit?

A Notice to Quit may be used when:

  • Rent is not paid on time (non-payment proceedings)
  • The tenant refuses to leave after the lease expires (holdover proceedings)
  • No lease exists and the landlord simply wants the tenant to vacate (eviction)
  • The tenant creates a health hazard at the premises or physical damages the property which is serious and ongoing

How Do You Serve A Notice To Quit?

  • Personal Service: Notice is given directly to the tenant, e.g. the Super provides the tenant with the notice
  • Mail Service: The notice is sealed in an envelope, properly addressed to the tenant, and placed in the mailbox of a reputable mail carrier (the law will generally presume that the notice will be received by the recipient within a short time specified by law – best to send with a certified method of mail to determine date actually received by tenant.)

Notice to Quit – By State

The following is a chart providing the number of days to cure a default in payment of rent or notice to quit.


State Days Notes
Alabama 10
Alaska 7
Arizona 5
Arkansas 10
California 3
Colorado 3
Connecticut 3
Delaware 5
D.C. 5
Florida 3
Georgia 7
Hawaii 5
Idaho 3
Illinois 5
Indiana 10
Iowa 3
Kansas 3 For leases with pay period 3 months or less
Kansas 10 For leases with pay period more than 3 months
Kentucky 7
Louisiana 10 sent at least 10 days prior to end of current month/pay period
Massachusetts 14
Maine 7
Maryland 9 5 days to appear in court followed by 4 days to vacate
Michigan 7
Minnesota 14
Mississippi 3
Missouri 0 Immediate
Montana 3
Nebraska 3
Nevada 5
New Hampshire 7
New Hampshire 30 month to month leases
New Jersey 30 Must accept rent remitted at any time prior to trial
New Mexico 3
New York 3
North Carolina 10
North Dakota 3
Ohio 3
Oklahoma 5
Oregon 10
Pennsylvania 15 Lease may specify a shorter time
Rhode Island 5
South Carolina 5
South Dakota 3
Tennessee 10
Texas 3
Utah 5
Vermont 14
Virginia 5
Washington 10
West Virginia 0 Immediate
Wisconsin 5
Wisconsin 14 Occurring second time in 1 year for year to year leases
Wisconsin 30 If to terminate lease of more than 1 year
Wyoming 3

As the law changes from time to time, please consult with your landlord-tenant attorney to make sure that the time appearing on this chart is accurate for your state.

Michael M Wechsler, Esq.

Michael M. Wechsler is an experienced attorney, founder of TheLaw.com and of-counsel to Kaplan, Williams & Graffeo, LLC. He was also an SVP and chief Internet strategist at Zedge.net and legal consultant at Kroll Ontrack, a leading service e-discovery and computer forensics service provider.

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