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A Landlord’s Guide to Non-Renewal

Packed Moving Boxes in Mission Viejo RentalA huge part of keeping your rental vacancies low is finding (and keeping) good tenants. But, on the flip side, sometimes things don’t work out between you and your tenant. Perhaps your circumstances are changing, or you need to execute a few major repairs. In such instances, one of the best means to end your current lease is through non-renewal. In the ensuing paragraphs, we discuss the non-renewal process and various significant things you’ll need to know exactly how to handle it successfully.

Non-Renewal Vs. Eviction

First, it’s essential to consider 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 action commonly 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 contrary, is different in that you are not forcing the tenant out. On the other hand, it is a decision not to renew the lease at the end of the current lease term. Although, that is not to say that a landlord can wait until the lease term ends and then plead with the tenant to move away. Just as eviction requires certain steps to be followed, an effective non-renewal process must similarly 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 necessary to do your research and find out what procedures you must do to ensure your non-renewal is in accordance with the law.

The Non-Renewal Process

The non-renewal process often begins 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 certain regions, the notice must be sent 90-days in advance of the lease’s end. In others, it may merely be 30 days. Even while you seemingly don’t need to give a reason for the non-renewal, the notice must typically be delivered in writing, and in several states, may be sent through certified mail or another signature-based service. You’ll need to perceive what the law in your state requires so that you can follow all applicable regulations.

It’s additionally highly significant not to use non-renewal for situations that require an eviction, change the terms of a lease, or raise the rent. In many places, using a non-renewal notice to try and manipulate or force out a tenant is illegal. It could backfire in an expensive lawsuit, primarily 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 refrain from legal headaches by grasping and following the local statute to the letter.

If you have created and established communication with your tenant (and you should!), it’s essential to continue doing so throughout the non-renewal process. Even while your tenant feels unhappy or hurt by your unwillingness to renew their lease, it’s relevant to maintain your professionalism every time. By making it obvious you care about your tenant, even if you need things to end, you can perhaps avoid retaliatory damage or other terrible behaviors and, if things turn out well, part with your tenant on good terms.


One of the best ways to deal with a non-renewal situation is to hire an expert to do it for you. At Real Property Management Agile, our Mission Viejo 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 949-503-5300 today.

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