Your tenant will not pay the rent, How do you terminate his lease? Print E-mail
Written by Kerry S. Doolittle   
Thursday, 15 April 2010

Your tenant is behind on the rent.  How do you terminate his lease?

Some tenants feel entitled to live (or work) in your building whether or not they pay the rent timely.  Landlords understand that the cash flow generated by the rent is used to cover the landlord's expenses such as mortgage payments on the property.  When a tenant is unwilling or unable to pay the rent on time, you may have to act promptly to protect your own financial situation.  

To do that, send the tenant a written notice of termination and demand for possession.  The following form provides a good example.  You can include or exclude the paragraph about reinstatement, depending upon whether you simply want the tenant to catch up or prefer that the tenant moves out.

One additional detail, if the tenant does not pay up or move out by the deadline, mail a second letter simply confirming that the lease has been terminated and demanding possession immediately.  That demand for possession after the termination is a necessary step before filing a court action to evict the tenant.

__Your Name__

__Your Address__

__Insert Date__

Certified Mail - Return Receipt Requested

 Re: Breach of Lease Contract Dated __Date_of_Lease__ .
 Premises: __Address of Rental Unit__
 Notice of Default, Notice of Termination, Demand for Possession.

Dear __Insert Name__:

 You are indebted to __Landlord's_Name__ for unpaid rent arrears in the amount of $__Total_Amount_Owed__, arising out of and related to that certain Lease Contract relating to the above-referenced premises, dated __Date_of_Lease__ , between __Landlord's_Name__ as landlord and each of you as tenants, representing unpaid rent installments for the months of __Months_Past_Due__ , plus late fees of $__Total_Late_Fees__ .  Interest and penalties continue to accrue under the terms of the Lease Contract.  __Landlord's_Name__ hereby demands immediate payment of the above-stated amounts. The next rent installment is due and payable on or before _____ in the amount of $___.


Please be notified that you are now in default under the terms of the Lease Contract in that you failed to make the aforementioned rent installment payments. Based on your default, and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Lease Contract, you are further notified that the Lease Contract is hereby terminated.  Such termination does not relieve you of your obligation to pay past due installments and late charges.


Although __Landlord's_Name__ has the right to insist on termination, if you cure the default on or before __Deadline_to_Cure__ (by paying the full amount in arrears, including any installment which becomes due between now and then), the Lease Contract will be reinstated, but strict compliance will henceforth be required. No partial payment will be accepted. The full amount must be paid on time, in cash or certified funds, in order to cure the default for reinstatement of the Lease Contract.

 If you do not cure the default by __Deadline_to_Cure__ , you must surrender the premises to __Landlord's_Name__ and remove all of your effects therefrom no later than 5:00 p.m. on __Deadline_to_Cure__ . Demand for possession of the premises is hereby made. In the event payment or surrender is not made as required herein, immediate actions shall be taken pursuant to the terms of Official Code of Georgia Annotated Sections 44-7-50 to 44-7-57 to have you dispossessed and removed forthwith from the premises. Such summary dispossessory action is in addition to all other rights and remedies of __Landlord's_Name__ for collection of the unpaid installments.

 As provided by Official Code of Georgia Annotated Section 13-1-11, you are hereby notified and advised that unless payment in full is received within ten days of your receipt of this letter, the terms of the Lease Contract regarding the payment of attorney's fees will be enforced. If the total due is paid in full within ten days after your receipt of this notice, you will avoid the enforcement of the provisions regarding the collection of attorney's fees.

If this obligation is in any way subject to dispute, advise immediately, in writing only, or I will consider your failure to respond to this letter as an admission of the validity of this debt. This will be your only letter before legal action is commenced. Please govern your actions accordingly.

 This notice has been sent by regular first class mail as well as certified mail. Refusal to pick up, or delay in picking up, the certified envelope will not avail you of any benefit nor delay the termination of your Lease Contract.

All future communication regarding this matter should be directed to the undersigned.


  your signature



cc __Tenant's_Name__ and by regular first class mail.




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