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You are reading: How to Write a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit

April 11, 2024

How to Write a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit

Daniel Berlind
CEO

In the world of property management, understanding the laws that affect your property is vital for maintaining a profitable business. One such critical piece of knowledge is the concept of a ‘3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit.’ This notice serves as a lifeline for property managers grappling with non-paying tenants, offering a structured process to either collect unpaid rent or begin the process of reclaiming the property.

When a tenant defaults on their rent, it can create a significant financial strain for property managers, turning a lucrative investment into a burdensome expense. In this article, we’ll establish what a 3-day notice is, how it can be used, and provide some helpful tips for the process. Let’s dive in!

What is a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit?

While we all wish for perfect tenants that pay their rent on time, that isn’t always the case. A 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit is given to the tenant when they are late on a rent payment. They are then given 3 days to rectify the situation (e.g., to pay their rent), or the property manager will begin the eviction process.

Not every state uses the 3-Day Notice, however. Each state has different landlord-tenant laws, so do your due diligence before taking legal action. The following states DO use the 3-day notice for nonpayment of rent:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

While all of these states use the notice, they may have different procedures or tasks associated with it. Don’t forget to pay close attention to your state’s stipulations.

Knowing When to Use the 3-Day Notice

We get it – collecting the rent on time is a big deal for property managers. The first of the month rolls around, and you’re looking to get that money in the bank and put your mind at ease. While rent is typically due on the first, most states have a grace period. This period, usually 3 days, allows the tenant to pay rent within that window without penalty. The grace period should be specified in the tenant’s lease, and once that grace period has expired, you can post the notice.

You should also pay attention to the rules surrounding holidays and weekends. The 3-day period only counts business days, meaning that if you deliver the notice on a Friday, the 3 days don’t start until Monday.

How to Write a 3-Day Notice

Now that you know when to use this notice, it’s time to create one! There are a few crucial elements required in every 3-day notice:

  • Tenant(s) name
  • Property address
  • The property manager/landlord’s name and contact information
  • Amount of rent owed
  • Date the rent must be paid by
  • Consequences if the tenant does not pay

You can always check with your attorney about how to format the document or search online for a template. Remember to review your local and state laws regarding these notices and what to include. You can never be too careful!

Serving the Notice

It’s finally time to serve the notice! The grace period has commenced, and your tenants still haven’t paid. Here’s what to do next.

Hand deliver the Notice. Hand the Notice directly to one of the tenants.

Give the notice to a roommate or mail it to their place of work. You can give the notice to another adult in the home or where your tenant works and mail a copy to the tenant. The tenant’s deadline to do what the Notice says doesn’t start until the day after the Notice is mailed.

Post and mail the Notice. Post a copy of the notice on the door of the home or unit and mail a copy to the tenant. The tenant’s deadline to do what the notice says doesn’t start until the day after the notice is mailed.

Make sure you adhere to these guidelines. If you forget a step or do something incorrectly, you may have to start the entire process over, should you take them to court.

Once the Notice Expires…

Once the 3 days have passed, your tenant will either pay their rent and any additional fees (yay!) or won’t. If they haven’t paid, it’s time to begin the eviction process. Your tenant may suggest a partial payment if they’re in a bind, but this can create complications once an eviction is filed. It’s encouraged only to accept the total rent payment to avoid this.

The Eviction Process

To begin the eviction process, research your local court and find the necessary documents and procedures. The documents and laws will vary depending on your state, so gathering as much information as possible is essential. You should also look into hiring an attorney to help you with the process.

Filing an eviction is complicated and expensive, and it may take several weeks or even months to reach a decision. Be patient and remember to follow every instruction to the tee.

To Sum Up…

So, there you have it, property managers! The ins and outs of 3-Day Notices are now at your fingertips. Craft the notice with precision, deliver it confidently, and keep records like a meticulous detective.

Though it may not be the most fun part of property management, correctly using 3-Day Notices is an integral part of a complete eviction. Keeping up with state laws and regulations can help you avoid costly delays and lengthy court cases in the future. So, stay informed, keep records, and good luck!