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 and former SVP of He has published hundreds of articles online covering a variety of legal topics and regularly provides free legal advice at The Law Forums.

Michael M Wechsler, Esq. – has written posts on Guide.


  1. says

    Dear Sir, my son and I live in New York City Housing Authority development. According my lease I had no choice but to sign, all tenants not working 30hrs or making over $8,000 a yr., not permanently disabled(such as myself) has to do 96hrs of community service per year as part of their tenancy. Mr. Bill Clinton signed this into law before he left office. We feel this is unconstitutional, my son is my caretaker, and I would have to take him off my lease by May 1st, 2010, even though they know I need his constant help with my daily activities of living. He can’t find a job. What’s your opinion on this? Thankyou for your acknowledgment.

  2. ed ensor says

    my landord owns the condo im renting,which i moved into 4 months ago he assured me when i moved in that my dog could live here too now the condo association has poken to me to let me know pets are not allowed ..turns out owners who bought before they changed the rule can have pets …new owners or renters cannot my landlord knew this but stiil thought we would be ok….im wondering what my legal rights are as far as havingh to move and money paid in rent and moving expences twice(in and out) landlord hasn’t told me yet but i know its coming , as they are going to fine him for this violation…fine is $100 not sure if that is $100 a month or what

  3. says

    Oregon- Notice to Quit for Non payment of rent. Oregon specifies several time lines regarding this notice depending on the method of Service.
    For more information please contact Oregon Legal Assistance Service Landlord Tenant Hotline at 503-701-6589.

  4. TheLaw Staff says

    Thanks for the information. Perhaps we should add that in or we’ll include it in another Landlord-Tenant FAQ.