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A Landlord’s Guide to Non-Renewal

Packed Moving Boxes in Roseville RentalA key to keeping rental vacancies low is to find (and keep) good tenants. Sometimes, however, things do not always work out between you and your tenant. You might need to do some major repairs or maybe your circumstances have changed. In such cases, one of the best ways to end your current lease is through non-renewal. Here, we will discuss the non-renewal process and some key points to know in order to handle it properly.

Non-Renewal Vs Eviction

First of all, you must know that non-renewal is not the same as an eviction. Eviction is the legal process through which a landlord may remove a tenant from a rental property. This process usually begins when the tenant is in violation of one or more of the terms of their lease and typically requires legal filings, court hearings, and a legal order that is perfected with law enforcement removing the renter from the property.

On the other hand, non-renewal is not forcing the tenant out. It is a choice not to renew the lease at the end of the lease term. However, it does not mean that the landlord can wait until the lease term ends to ask the tenant to leave. Just as an eviction requires you to follow certain steps, a successful non-renewal process should also follow the laws and regulations in your state.

Since the laws that govern real properties and leases differ from state to state, you have to do your research to know the steps you must take to ensure your non-renewal is in accordance with the law.

The Non-Renewal Process

The non-renewal process is often kicked off by a notice sent to the tenant stating that their lease is no longer being renewed. The notice is meant to let your tenant know that there will be no lease renewal at the end of their current term.

Each state has different requirements for how far in advance of the lease end notice has to be sent. You will have to check on your state’s requirements on the timing of non-renewal notices. For some regions, this could be 90 days in advance. Others require only 30 days. While you probably don’t need to give a reason for the non-renewal, the notice must typically be delivered in writing, and in some states, must be sent through certified mail or another signature-based service. It is important that you know what the law in your state requires so you can follow all applicable regulations.

It is extremely important that you do not use non-renewal for situations that require an eviction, change of lease terms, or raising the rent. Most places make it illegal to use a non-renewal notice to manipulate or force a tenant out. It could turn into a costly lawsuit, especially if the tenant feels you failed to give them adequate notice or that their lease was terminated in violation of local law. Legal headaches can be avoided by strictly following the local statute.

It also helps to have good communication with your tenant before and throughout the non-renewal process. You have to keep your professionalism at all times even if your tenant feels upset or hurt by your unwillingness to renew their lease. Show your tenant that you care about them even if you need things to end. This way you can avoid potential retaliatory damages or other unwanted behaviors, and you can part with your tenant on good terms.


If you want a smoother non-renewal situation, it is best to hire an expert to do it for you. At Real Property Management Fidelis, our Roseville property managers can help you navigate through the changes in your lease, ownership status, or repairs. Learn more by contacting us online or calling at 844-365-7368 today.

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