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A Landlord’s Guide to Non-Renewal

Packed Moving Boxes in Sparta RentalA major part of keeping your rental vacancies low is finding (and retaining) good tenants. But there will be times when things won’t work out between you and your tenant. It could be that your circumstances have changed, or you need to do some major repairs. In such cases, one of the best ways to end your current lease is through non-renewal. This article will discuss the non-renewal process and some things you need to know in order to handle it properly.

Non-Renewal Vs Eviction

First, you must remember that non-renewal is different from 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 has violated 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 does not mean you are forcing the tenant out. Rather, you are choosing not to renew the lease at the end of the current lease term. That does not mean, however, that a landlord can just wait until the end of the lease term and then 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.

As there are different laws governing rental properties and leases in each state, it is important that you know what steps to take to ensure that your non-renewal is in accordance with the law.

The Non-Renewal Process

A notice advising the tenant that their lease is not being renewed usually kicks off the non-renewal process. The intent of this notice is to let your tenant know that there will be no renewal at the end of their current term.

How early in the lease term should this notice be sent varies from state to state since each one has different regulations on non-renewal notices. There are regions that require it to be sent 90 days in advance. Some only require 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. You have to know the law in your state so you will know all the regulations you need to follow.

You should also note that it is extremely important not to use non-renewal for situations requiring an eviction, change in terms of a lease, or raising of rent. In most places, using a non-renewal notice to manipulate a tenant is illegal. It could backfire into a costly lawsuit, especially when the tenant feels they were not given adequate notice or that their lease is being terminated in violation of local law. These legal headaches can be avoided by following the local statute to the letter.

It also helps to have good communication with your tenant before and throughout the non-renewal process. Even if your tenant feels hurt by your unwillingness to renew their lease, you must maintain professionalism at all times. If your tenant feels that you care about them, even if you need things to end, you can prevent retaliatory damage or other unwanted behaviors, and even part with your tenant on good terms.


One of the best ways to handle a non-renewal situation is to hire an expert to do it. At Real Property Management Momentum, our Sparta 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 417-220-4100 today.

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