Free Pay or Quit Notice Forms

Being a landlord comes with its challenges along with its benefits. But it can seem especially difficult when you’re dealing with tenants who don’t pay rent or who consistently pay their rent late.

While every state allows landlords to evict tenants who don’t pay their rent, it is important to follow the right protocols to collect rent or start the eviction process.

This article will go over how you can use notice to pay or quit forms to provide notice to pay rent or start an eviction. We’ll cover when and how to use these forms, how to fill them out, and everything else you need to know.


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What is a Notice to Pay or Quit?

A notice to pay or quit is usually the second form you send to a tenant that is behind on their rent. It’s also usually only available after your tenant has missed more than one month’s rent.

These forms are used to do one of three things:

  1. Collect back rent and maintain a normal landlord-tenant relationship
  2. Give a tenant the opportunity to leave a property without further legal proceedings
  3. To terminate a lease agreement and start the eviction process (if rent is not paid)

Of course, there are other types of eviction notice template that are similar, and that may be a better option depending on the situation and your state’s laws.

Notice to Pay or Quit Laws by State

STATE Notice Periods Late Rent Grace Periods Max. Late Rent Fees
Alabama 7 Days (AL Code Section 35-9A-421) No Statute No Statute
Alaska 7 Days (AS Section 34.03.220) No Statute No Statute
Arizona 5 Days (A.R.S. Section 33-1368) No Statute “Reasonable,” Section 33-1368
Arkansas 3 Days (AR Code Section 18-17-701) 5 Days, Section 18-17-701 No Statute
California 3 Days (CA Civ Pro Code Section 1161) No Statute “Reasonable,” CA Civ Code Section 1671
Colorado 10 Days (CO Rev. Stat. Section 13-40-104) No Statute No Statute
Connecticut 3 Days (CT Gen Stat Chapter 832, Section 47a-23) 9 Days, Section 47a-15a No Statute
Delaware 5 Days (Del. Code Section 25-5502) 5 to 8 Days, Section 25-5501 5% of Rent, Section 25-5501
Florida 3 Days (FL Stat Section 83.56) No Statute $20 or 20%, Section 83.808
Georgia Immediate (GA Code Section 44-7-50) No Statute No Statute
Hawaii 15 Days (HRS Section 521-68) No Statute No Statute
Idaho 3 Days (ID Stat Section 6-303) No Statute No Statute
Illinois 5 Days (ILCS Chapter 735, Section 5/9-209) 5 Days (ILCS Chapter 770, Section 95/7.10) No Statute
Indiana 10 Days (IC Section 32-31-1-6) No Statute No Statute
Iowa 3 Days (IA Code Section 562A.27) No Statute $12 to $20 per Day, Section 562A.9
Kansas 10 Days* (KS Stat Section 58-2507) No Statute No Statute
Kentucky 7 Days (KRS Section 383.660) No Statute No Statute
Louisiana 5 Days (CCP, Article 4701) No Statute No Statute
Maine 7 Days (MRSA Section 6002) 15 Days, Section 6028 4% of Rent, Section 6028
Maryland 10 Days (MD Real Prop Code Section 8-401) No Statute 5% of Rent, Section 8-208
Massachusetts 14 Days (MGL Chapter 186 Section 12) 30 Days, Chapter 186, Section 15B(1) No Statute
Michigan 7 Days (MCL Section 554.134) No Statute No Statute
Minnesota 14 Days (MN Stat Section 504B.135) No Statute 8% of Rent, Section 504B.177
Mississippi 3 Days (MS Code Section 89-7-27) No Statute No Statute
Missouri Immediate (RSMo Section 535.010) No Statute No Statute
Montana 3 Days (MCA Section 70-24-422) No Statute No Statute
Nebraska 7 Days (NE Code Section 76-1431) No Statute No Statute
Nevada 5 Days (NRS Section 40.2512) No Statute Written in a Lease, Section 118A.200
New Hampshire 7 Days (NH Rev Stat Section 540:3) No Statute No Statute
New Jersey 30 Days (NJ Rev Stat Section 2A:18-61.2) 5 Days, Section 2A:42-6.1 No Statute
New Mexico 3 Days (NM Stat Section 47-8-33) No Statute 10% of Rent, Section 47-8-15
New York 14 Days (NY Banking, Section 711) No Statute No Statute
North Carolina 10 Days (N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 42-3) 5 Days, Section 42-46(a) $15 or 5%, Section 42-46(a)
North Dakota 3 Days (ND Century Code Section 47-32-01) No Statute No Statute
Ohio 3 Days (Ohio Rev Code Section 1923.02) No Statute No Statute
Oklahoma 5 Days (OK Stat Section 131) 10 Days, Section 41-132 No Statute
Oregon 6 Days (ORS Section 90.394) 4 Days, Section 90.260 5% of Rent, Section 90.260
Pennsylvania 10 Days (P.S. Section 250.501) No Statute No Statute
Rhode Island 5 Days (RI Gen Laws Section 34-18-35) 15 Days, Section 34-18-35 No Statute
South Carolina 5 Days (SC Code Section 27-40-710) No Statute No Statute
South Dakota 3 Days (SD Codified Laws Section 21-16-1(4)) No Statute No Statute
Tennessee 14 Days (TN Code Section 66-28-505) 5 Days, Section 66-28-201 10% of Rent, Section 66-28-201
Texas 3 Days (Property Code Section 24.005) 1 Day, Section 92.019 “Reasonable,” Section 92.019
Utah 3 Days (UT Code Section 78B-6-802) No Statute No Statute
Vermont 14 Days (9 V.S.A. Section 4467) No Statute No Statute
Virginia 5 Days (VA Code Section 55.1-1245) 5 Days (for Oral Agreements), Section 55.1-1204 No Statute
Washington 14 Days (WA SB 5600) No Statute No Statute
West Virginia Immediate (WV Code Section 55-3A-1) No Statute No Statute
Wisconsin 5 Days (WI Stat Section 704.17) No Statute No Statute
Wyoming 3 Days (WY Stat Section 1-21-1003) No Statute No Statute

*OR 3 days if tenancy is shorter than 3 months

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Preparing and Serving the Notice

Step 1: Find a Notice to Pay or Quit Form

step 1 find a notice to pay or quit form preparing and serving the notice

The easiest way to get a pay or quit notice is to find a form that you can fill out with the specifics of your situation. There are several online forms to choose from that work well, and they can easily become your standard form whether you are a landlord for a single property or a full real estate company.

Of course, you can also work with an attorney to create a custom pay or quit notice. However, unless you already have an attorney on hand as a landlord, it may be easier to use a free version rather than pay the fees for a custom form.

Step 2: Determine How Much Back-Rent is Owed

step 2 determine how much back rent is owed preparing and serving the notice

Once you have a form, it’s important to know exactly what you are asking for, including back-rent and any late fees. You’ll need to consult your state’s rental laws since some states mandate what kind of fees can be assessed and have other rental regulations that may expand or limit your options.

It’s important to have a specific number since you’ll need to provide an itemized list of charges and fees on the notice.

Step 3: Filling Out the Form

step 3 filling out the form preparing and serving the notice

Filling out a pay or quit notice is relatively simple but needs to be exact. You will need to fill in your tenant’s information, including the names of everyone living at the property, the address, and the date that the lease was signed.

notice to pay or quit names and addresses

You’ll include the amount due and the dates that amount accrued without payment.

notice to pay or quit amount due

Most forms also include a certificate of service, which is required to be filled out by the person serving the notice as it is served.

notice to pay or quit certificate of service

Step 4: Deliver the Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

step 4 deliver the notice to pay rent or quit preparing and serving the notice

The last step is to deliver the notice. Like many legal forms, a pay or quit notice must be served. The certificate of service included with the form is to ensure that landlords do deliver the notice to their tenants and provide sufficient time to make payment.

As a landlord, you can deliver the notice yourself in person, or you can hire an attorney or third party to serve your tenant.

A notice to pay or quit doesn’t require court involvement unless the tenant fails to make payment within the time limit and doesn’t leave the property.

What Options Does the Tenant Have?

Once you have progressed from a late rent notice to a pay or quit notice, tenants have relatively few options. Most tenants will choose to pay the rent to stay in their homes and avoid a notice to vacate. Pay or quit notices also give tenants a certain number of days to pay rent, and you’ll need to know how many days your state allows.

Giving your tenants a pay or quit notice, unfortunately, does not mean that every tenant will pay.

Some tenants will choose to ‘quit,’ meaning that they leave your property without paying back rent or forcing an eviction. Most landlords prefer to avoid this, which is why it’s important to issue notices to pay rent and pay or quit notices quickly.

That way, even if your tenant chooses to vacate the property, you haven’t lost much rent.

But tenant(s) may also choose to stay in a home even after their landlord has issued a pay or quit notice without paying rent. They can stay in the home until you obtain an eviction notice, and which point most tenants will leave before a sheriff arrives to escort them from the property.

However, even at this point, not all tenants will leave. It can be especially difficult to get tenant(s) to leave if you have a strained landlord-tenant relationship.

Other Eviction Forms

When it’s time to terminate a lease agreement, you have several eviction forms to choose from. Some are more suitable than others, but here are some of your alternatives to a notice to quit.

Standard Lease Termination Letter

Standard Lease Termination Letters are used when the landlord and tenant mutually agree to end the lease. There are plenty of reasons why that may happen, including if the tenant’s situation changes and they can no longer afford to stay at the property, or if a property needs immediate renovations or repairs.

Notice to Comply or Quit

Notice to Comply or Quit forms are used when the tenant has made all payments but has violated some other terms of their lease. For instance, if the landlord discovers that a tenant has been smoking inside a no-smoke property, and the terms are in their lease, they can issue this notice to get the tenant to comply with the lease or leave.

There are many reasons for this notice:

  • Pets in a no-pet rental
  • Heavy damage to the property
  • More people living on the premises than allowed
  • Violation of a low-noise agreement
  • Unauthorized modification to the property
  • Any other violation of the lease

Notice to Quit for Illegal Activity

Like notices to comply or quit, these notices can be issued even if your tenants have paid their rent in full. However, this notice isn’t a notice to bring a tenant into more acceptable behavior. Instead, it is issued when you want a tenant to leave due to reasonable suspicion that they are conducting illegal activity in or in proximity to your property.

For instance, if you have evidence that your tenant is acting as a drug dealer, you may want to issue a Notice to Quit for Illegal Activity to protect your home from future damage and repercussions if your tenant is arrested.

Published: Apr 11, 2022
Jennifer M. Settles
Jennifer M. Settles
Author & Attorney
With over 25 years of experience as a business and transactional attorney, Jennifer has mastered the craft of closing highly successful deals for her clients. Through her wide-ranging expertise in commercial contracts, real estate transactions, M&A and corporate law, Jennifer secures results that are second-to-none.