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A Landlord’s Guide to Non-Renewal

Packed Moving Boxes in Pasadena RentalA large factor in keeping your rental vacancies low is finding (and keeping) good tenants. Though every so often, things don’t work out between you and your tenant. Perhaps your circumstances are changing, or you need to conduct certain major repairs. In such circumstances, one of the best solutions to end your current lease is through non-renewal. In the following paragraphs, we mention the non-renewal process and several relevant things you’ll need to understand to handle it competently.

Non-Renewal Vs. Eviction

First, it’s vital to truly grasp 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 proceeding often begins when the tenant violates one or more of the terms of their lease and commonly requires legal filings, court hearings, and a legal order that is perfected with law enforcement removing the renter from the property.

Non-renewal, conversely, is different in that you are not forcing the tenant out. But instead, it is a  personal choice not to renew the lease at the end of the current lease term. But certainly, that is not to say that a landlord can wait until the lease term ends and then call for the tenant to move. Just as eviction requires certain steps to be followed, a beneficial and successful non-renewal process must as well follow the laws and regulations in your state.

The laws governing rental properties and leases can be diverse from state to state, so it’s significant to do your research and identify what certain actions you must do to ensure your non-renewal is in accordance with the law.

The Non-Renewal Process

The non-renewal process mostly commences 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 particular regions, the notice must be sent 90-days in advance of the lease’s end. In others, it may simply be 30 days. Even though you likely don’t need to give a reason for the non-renewal, the notice must usually be delivered in writing, and in a few states, will require to be sent through certified mail or another signature-based service. You’ll need to determine what the law in your state requires so that you can follow all applicable regulations.

It’s likewise exceedingly relevant not to use non-renewal for situations that require an eviction, change the terms of a lease, or raise the rent. In the majority 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, exactly 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 prevent legal headaches by understanding and following the local statute to the letter.

If you have developed efficient communication with your tenant (and you should!), it’s vital to continue doing so throughout the non-renewal process. Even though your tenant feels annoyed or hurt by your unwillingness to renew their lease, it’s essential to maintain your professionalism in many cases. By exhibiting you care about your tenant, even if you call for things to end, you can most likely avoid retaliatory damage or other dreadful behaviors and, if things work well, part with your tenant on good terms.


One of the effective ways to address a non-renewal situation is to hire an expert to do it for you. At Real Property Management Prestige, our Pasadena 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 281-984-7463 today.

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