NOTICE TO TENANTS, OCCUPANTS,

AND TRESPASSERS

NOTICE TO VACATE

Waiver of noticf to vacate

1. Criminal Trespassers are persons who intentionally enter a structure, watercraft, or movable without the express, legal, or implied authorization.  For example, a hunter who knowingly enters posted property is a criminal trespasser. Likewise, a person who enters property that belongs to someone else without permission and/or remains there after the owner asks them to leave would be committing criminal trespass. Trespassers are subject to immediate arrest and removal by the sheriff.


2. Tenants are persons who possess the property of a landlord under the terms of a lease or rental agreement. Leases and rental agreements can be written or oral. They can also be for a definite (yearly) or indefinite (month-to-month) term. Tenants are removed by eviction.


3. Occupants are persons, other than a tenant, who have some present or prior claim to possession of the property in question. For example, a person living in an apartment with the landlord’s permission, but without any lease or rental agreement, is an occupant. When the landowner decides to remove the occupant, he does so by eviction.

When the landlord wishes to evict an occupant after purposes of the occupancy ceases, the landlord or his agent must first deliver written notice to vacate the property to the occupant. The notice to vacate must allow the occupant five days from its delivery to vacate the premises.
If the landlord does not have a reason to evict but wants to regain possession of the premises, he must give the tenant written notice of termination in accordance with the law. Under these circumstances, the Notice of Termination will serve as a Notice to Vacate. Remember, in a month-to-month lease, the landlord must give at least ten (10) days notice prior to the end of the month.  For time delays 7 days or greater, include weekends and holidays.


EXAMPLE: Landlord and tenant enter into a month-to-month lease on October 1st. Tenant continually paid rent on time in November, December, January, and February. In February, the landlord decides he no longer wishes to rent the premises. Landlord must serve tenant a Notice of Termination by February 18th in order to properly terminate the lease. If tenant has not moved out on March 1st, the landlord may begin eviction proceedings.

The requirement that a landlord give written notice of termination or notice to vacate to the tenant can be waived. A tenant waives the right to receive a notice to vacate by signing a written waiver contained in the lease. If the tenant does so, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings against the tenant immediately upon termination of the lease or the tenant’s right of occupancy for any reason. Because a written waiver contained in a lease waives statutory protections given to the tenant, any such waiver should be narrowly construed, with any ambiguities construed against the landlord. It is important to note that a waiver of notice to vacate is not a waiver of other rights to notice.