Notice of Intent to Vacate

A notice of intent to vacate is a letter a tenant (rentee) sends to their landlord (renter) to lawfully terminate relations with them and leave the occupied premises. The tenant cannot leave the rental property without any prior notice as it is required by the local laws regarding relations between rentees and renters. The need to send advance notice by one of the parties is also usually included in lease agreements. The time that needs to be given to the landlord is meant to help them find a new rentee.

The number of days that are required to send an advance letter before the intended move-out date is state-specific, but thirty days is the minimum period for notice. It means that if, for example, a tenant plans to move out before the beginning of the month, they should send to the landlord a thirty-day notice about the intended leaving, that is, by the first day of the preceding month. Learn more about letters of intent in our comprehensive guide –

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In the majority of states, the notice of intent to vacate should be provided at least 30 days in advance, but in some states, local laws extend this period and require a 60-day notice (Delaware) or narrow it down to only a 7-day notice (North Carolina).

How much advance notice is needed will also depend on the type of the lease (tenancy at will, month-to-month lease, year-to-year lease, etc).

The common law is that the tenant should send a letter to the mail of the landlord getting proof of receipt, but a lease agreement might also specify other methods of sending the notice to vacate letter to a landlord.

Tips for Writing a Proper Letter of Intent

A notice or letter of intent seems to be easy to write, but it should be written in a certain manner to comply with local laws and the conditions of the lease.

Check the need for a formal letter

Even though sending a letter through certified mail is the safest option, a landlord or property manager might write in lease agreements that an email with the necessary information will be sufficient.

Be straightforward

A notice to vacate letter should serve only one purpose – letting the landlord know that the rentee plans to vacate the rental property. Any past disputes or issues should not be raised in the letter of intent to vacate.

Include the forwarding address

The landlord will need the address from you to send you the security deposit. Of course, you might not find a new place to live before you send a written notice of intent to vacate, which is why in such a case, after leaving the property, you can keep in contact with the landlord through email or phone to tell them about your new place of living.

Add the date

Putting the date on your notice to vacate is crucial as it proves that you kept the requirements of the state and the lease agreement.

What Happens If a Tenant Fails to Send a Notice to Vacate?

If a tenant breaks the terms of their lease and fails to notify the landlord about their moving out in advance, such a tenant will be liable for paying rent for the full term of the lease. For instance, if a tenant who stays on a month-to-month basis sends the letter ten days before the time they want to vacate the premises instead of the necessary 30-day notice, the liability might mean paying the full month’s rent.

How to Fill out a Notice of Intent to Vacate

There is no standardized form of a notice of intent to vacate, but certain elements should always be included.

Step 1 –  Information about the tenant

The notice to vacate should start with the name and address of the rentee.

Step 2 –Information about the landlord

Then, the name and the contacts of the landlord should be included. They should correspond to what is outlined in the lease agreement.

Step 3  – Date and purpose

Next, the rentee should write the date of the letter. The following piece of information should be the purpose of the notice to vacate letter, which is to leave the rental property at a certain date. The tenant should mention the date they want to move out, remembering that it should comply with the state’s requirements and the conditions of the lease.

Step 4 – Move out examination

Certain states require the landlord or property manager to perform an inspection of the property when tenants leave the rental unit, and the rentee has the right to be present at the examination. If it is the case, the tenant should mention it in the written notice to vacate by respectfully requesting the landlord to inform them about the date and time of the inspection.

Step 5 – Getting back the security deposit

The letter should also state when the tenant expects to get back their security deposit. The period of the deposit return is governed by state laws, so the tenant’s task here is to show their familiarity with the state-required periods.

Step 6  – The forwarding address

The notice to vacate letter should end with the rentee’s address where the landlord should return their security deposit (or the rest of the deposit in case it was used to cover damages caused by the tenant).

Eventually, the notice to vacate should include the date and signature of the rentee.

If you need a good vacate letter template, use the one provided on our website. It will give you an idea of how to write a notice to vacate that corresponds to the requirements of lease-related laws should look like. You can use it without any fee.

Sample Notice of Intent to Vacate

From: Adam Ardis
Apartment Number 36
278 3rd Ave.
Corsicana, TX 75110

April 4, 2021

To: Cool Apartments
278 3rd Ave.
Corsicana, TX 75110

Re: Notice of Intent to Vacate

To whom it may concern,

My name is Adam Ardis, and this letter serves as my written notice of intent to vacate from the rental premises that I currently occupy. I intend to vacate by May 4, 2021, and this notice fulfills notice requirements set by Texas law and the lease agreement. My forwarding address is 8175 Vermont Dr. Kerrville, TX 78028, and if any issues or concerns come up, I can be reached at the phone number +1 (467) 555-1234 or email:

I would like to schedule a move-out walkthrough inspection of the apartment during the week of the move. I believe that the apartment’s condition is satisfactory to receive the return of my full deposit of $1000, as per the lease agreement. The deposit can be sent to my new mailing address provided above.

If you have any questions, please contact me at the phone number or email listed above in this letter.

Adam Ardis

Published: Aug 26, 2022