Tips on Writing a Letter to a Tenant Not Renewing Lease
Over the course of 6 months or a year, owners, property management companies, and tenants all form a bit of a relationship. With any relationship comes a sense of loyalty. Deciding not to renew a lease with a tenant can bring about a sense of guilt or even betrayal from the landlord's perspective. This is especially true if the tenant has been in the same property for several years. The best way to write a letter to inform tenants that they are not having their lease renewed is to be professional about it. Stick to the facts. Tell them why the decision has been made and how much time they have to prepare to move out based on local landlord/tenant law. Remember: renting a property is ultimately a business decision.
1. Include Any Specific Reasons for the Lease Termination
Sometimes a tenant is not having their lease renewed because they have failed to live up to their property care obligations over the course of a year. Include noise complaints, safety issues, and other inspection or investigation issues that have made the tenant a less than attractive rental option.
2. Make Sure All Dates Are Clearly Stated
You will need to be very specific about the dates that the tenant must abide by with this letter. By leaving room for latitude, there is a much greater chance that the tenant isn't going to move out of the premises at the time you want them to leave. Most tenants who are not having their lease renewed will stay as long as they possibly can. Firm deadlines put the needed line into the sand.
3. Include a Check-Out List for the Tenant
Tenants who receive a set of expectations about how to leave the property in question are more likely to leave it in good shape. Have a checklist of cleaning chores that need to be done, what the costs will be if you need to do the cleaning for them, and any other tenant-specific items that need to be accomplished [i.e. flea treatments, carpet deodorization, and so forth].
4. Always Follow-up the Letter with a Response
Even if you've hand-delivered the letter to a tenant, you will need to follow-up to make sure they have read the letter and understood its consequences. The last thing you need is for a tenant to overstay their welcome and force you into the eviction process. That's just going to cost you cash.
5. Consider Including a Reference Letter
If you've got a tenant that has been consistent and treated the property well, then do the tenant a favor and give them a reference letter with this non-renewal letter. Documents in writing that confirm how good they are will be the best reference they can take to another rental property. It's never easy to end a business relationship, but when one door closes, another one is going to open. Sometimes to grow wealth, you've got to say goodbye to some tenants at the end of their lease. The right letter, with these tips, can make that happen for you.
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