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A Landlord’s Guide to Non-Renewal

Packed Moving Boxes in Birmingham RentalA major portion of keeping your rental vacancies low is finding (and keeping) good tenants. But certainly, at times, things don’t work out between you and your tenant. Probably your circumstances are changing, or you need to execute several major repairs. In cases like this, one of the appropriate ways to end your current lease is through non-renewal. In subsequent paragraphs, we tackle the non-renewal process and particular vital things you’ll need to understand in order to handle it efficiently.

Non-Renewal Vs. Eviction

First, it’s relevant to keep in mind that non-renewal and eviction are two different things. Eviction is the legal process through which a landlord may remove a tenant from a rental property. This operation often starts when the tenant violates one or more of the terms of their lease and usually requires legal filings, court hearings, and a legal order that is perfected with law enforcement removing the renter from the property.

Non-renewal, on the flip side, is different in that you are not forcing the tenant out. On the contrary, it is a course of action not to renew the lease at the end of the current lease term. Though, that is not to say that a landlord can wait until the lease term ends and then demand for the tenant to go. Just as eviction requires certain steps to be followed, a successful non-renewal process must equally follow the laws and regulations in your state.

The laws governing rental properties and leases can be different from state to state, so it’s vital to do your research and understand what measures you must take to ensure your non-renewal is in accordance with the law.

The Non-Renewal Process

The non-renewal process commonly starts with a notice sent to your tenant that their lease is not being renewed. The purpose of this notice is to inform your tenant that the lease won’t be renewed at the end of their current term.

How far in advance of the lease end this notice should be sent varies since each state has different requirements on the timing of non-renewal notices. In a few regions, the notice must be sent 90-days in advance of the lease’s end. In others, it may just be 30 days. Though you possibly don’t need to give a reason for the non-renewal, the notice must mostly be delivered in writing, and in various states, should be sent through certified mail or another signature-based service. You’ll need to identify what the law in your state requires so that you can follow all applicable regulations.

It’s also necessary not to use non-renewal for situations that require an eviction, change the terms of a lease, or raise the rent. In quite a lot of places, using a non-renewal notice to try and manipulate or force out a tenant is illegal. It could backfire in an expensive lawsuit, mainly when a tenant feels that they are not given adequate notice or that their lease is being terminated in violation of local law. You can get away from legal headaches by comprehending and following the local statute to the letter.

If you have developed proper communication with your tenant (and you should!), it’s relevant to continue doing so throughout the non-renewal process. Though your tenant feels angry or hurt by your unwillingness to renew their lease, it’s significant to maintain your professionalism at all times. By making it known you care about your tenant, even if you demand things to end, you can probably avoid retaliatory damage or other undesirable behaviors and, if things do well, part with your tenant on good terms.


One of the best solutions to contend with a non-renewal situation is to hire an expert to do it for you. At Real Property Management Advantage, our Birmingham 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 248-259-2575 today.

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