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Do a background check on prospective tenants, and always have an exit strategy. (Getty Images)

Renting out a room in your own home to a stranger might cause your friends or family members to raise an eyebrow. However, it's a commonplace practice, especially in expensive cities where people become de facto roommates when apartment dwellers sublet a room. Plus, many homeowners have embraced the idea of renting out spare rooms on a short-term basis to strangers through popular peer-to-peer home-sharing rental platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway. But if you're used to living alone or with only family in your house, taking in a tenant can be an adjustment.

So if you're going to make the leap from living on your own to being a landlord, keep the following considerations when renting out a room in mind:

  • Understand the laws in your area.
  • Treat prospective tenants as strangers, not friends.
  • Consider getting a background check before you invite a tenant into your home.
  • Interview the tenant thoroughly.
  • Write up a contract.
  • Have an exit strategy if things don't work out.

Read on to learn more about the caveats and precautions to consider before renting a spare room in your own home.

[See: The Best Places to Live in the U.S. for Young Professionals.]

Understand the Laws in Your Area

Every state is different in how they govern landlord-tenant laws. But regardless of the state you live in, you probably aren't legally allowed to enter your tenant's bedroom without giving 24 hours' notice, meaning that if you enter the room without permission or warning, you could find yourself in legal hot water. Plus, you may be held responsible if you, say, barge in and break something of your tenant's.

Treat Prospective Tenants as Strangers, Not Friends

Tell your tenant about your home, but carefully consider what you say about yourself, especially in the beginning of the interviewing process. After all, you probably know nothing about this person, and you don't want to tell a future thief that you keep an extra key underneath the welcome mat, for example.

Get a Background Check

This small investment should give you a sense of whether this is a good match or a future nightmare. Some tools you might check out include MyRental.com, which offers an eviction history search tool for $7.99 or a prospective tenant's credit report for $14.99 or MySmartMove.com, which offers criminal background reports and national eviction reports for $25 to $40, depending on what you select. Another helpful resource is LeaseRunner.com, which offers national eviction reports for $12 and reports of the tenant's financial history of the last three months for $10.

[See: The Best Apps for House Hunting.]

Interview the Tenant

It isn't enough for a tenant to look good on paper. "Tenant screening for live-ins is critical," says Glenn Carter, the chief editor of Condo.Capital, an Ottawa, Ontario-based digital content platform for condo buyers and real estate professionals. "I've heard so many horror stories of bad tenants making your life difficult by being messy, not respecting the space, being up all hours of the night and so on," Carter says. He also suggests walking the prospective tenant back to his or her car "to see how tidy they keep it" to get a sense if the tenant is neat.

Set Written Guidelines

Draw up a contract, suggests Elena Peters, a full-time blogger in Hamilton, Ontario, who runs a website, MakingMidLifeMatter.com, geared toward women. Peters has rented out two bedrooms in her home to two brothers from Jamaica for nearly 10 years.

"They have most definitely become family to me and my sons, but honestly, I realize now that I was extremely lucky considering the fact that I did not fully research or understand how sharing our space with strangers would impact our lives," she says.

The key points to include in a contract, Peters says, include the rent amount and when it is due, and any fees related to late penalties. You'll also want to touch on whether rent will increase yearly, and specify which space is the tenant's, along with common areas and rules for usage. You should highlight if there are any areas that are off-limits. Finally, you should spell out rules for parking and pets.

The more you can think of to put in the contract, the better. And there is almost no limit to what you might put into the contract, according to Peters. For instance you might include: "If they have use of the appliances that you own, will they have to pitch in for replacements?" That may seem unreasonable but maybe not, if your tenants live there a long time. "Be very clear what is for common use and what is not," she adds.



Have an Exit Strategy

You and your tenant should have an idea of how long he or she will be living in your home. You also might want to ask for the last month's rent or a deposit upfront. Apartment complexes often do this; you could, too, in case your tenant one day decides to leave abruptly.

Even if you don't think about the tenant-landlord relationship ending, you should at least consider how things will go if they don't go well, says Kinh Demaree, a startup consultant and real estate investor in Mountain View, California. She has been renting out rooms in her house for about 10 years, knowing from the start that she would have to have an exit strategy to be able to afford a mortgage in the San Francisco Bay area. Demaree has generally had good experiences, but she suggests that you think about what can go wrong.

[Read: Why You Should (and Shouldn't) Opt for a Month-to-Month Lease.]

"Think about what will happen if your tenant gets behind on rent, breaks one of your rules, brings drugs into the house, damages something and how you will handle it. It can be especially awkward if you have to evict someone while they're living in your home," she says.

Even if you can't imagine what you would do in that scenario, it underscores the importance of screening your tenants. She also suggests that the tenant be required to have his or her own renter's insurance policy. "If there's a fire, natural disaster or injury and you have to file it on your insurance, then that could make your insurance premium increase at no fault of your own," she says.


Does Your State Have Fair Eviction Laws?

State-by-state eviction information

Roofs of brownstone houses in Boston.

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Housing laws and real estate practices vary widely among states. But even for people who’ve lived in the same state or city their entire lives, it can be difficult to know the nuances of the renting process – or worse, the eviction process. U.S. News has compiled basic information on eviction laws in each state to help you understand what’s required of your landlord and how it compares to the rest of the U.S. To better understand how eviction plays a role in each state, estimated eviction rates are included from the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, spearheaded by Pulitzer Prize winner Matthew Desmond, author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” These rates aim to provide greater perspective on the scope of evictions taking place throughout the country.

Know your rights.

Know your rights.

Young man holding papers and talking on phone while sitting at home

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Before diving into a breakdown of the legal information, it’s important to know that eviction can only occur if you're taken to court. The eviction rates determined by the Eviction Lab are based on those evictions that take place through the court system, going back to 2000. In all states, it is illegal for a landlord to simply lock a tenant out of their rental, even if the notice period has passed and the landlord has filed for eviction with the courts. Tenants have the right to fight eviction and remain in their home during the period leading up to that court date (except in Arkansas). The following information is only a snapshot of the statutes determined by state legislators. It’s important to visit your state government’s website for more information and contact a local tenant rights organization or an attorney for additional details about how to fight an eviction.

Alabama

Alabama

Downtown Birmingham, Alabama, from Vulcan Park

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Eviction Rate: 1.82 percent
Notice to Vacate: Seven days to pay rent or to remedy other rental agreement violations; seven-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Alabama allows landlords to issue an unconditional notice to quit (with which the tenant cannot avoid eviction by correcting the violation) or face eviction when the tenant has repeated a violation of his or her lease four or more times in a 12-month period (making the violation habitual) or committed a crime on the property, including drug use, unlawful discharge of a weapon or assault.

Alaska

Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska, United States Of America

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Eviction Rate: Unavailable
Notice to Vacate: Seven days to pay rent; 10 days to remedy rental agreement violation; one-, three- or 10-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Alaska’s eviction laws differentiate between options to remedy a problem, like paying overdue rent or bringing a pet to a no-pets apartment, and unconditional quit notices that range from 10 days to as little as 24 hours, due to property damage, failure to pay utilities more than once or illegal activity. Formal eviction, however, can only happen through the courts, and law enforcement must carry out removal of the tenant.

Arizona

Arizona

A plane lands at an airport in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Eviction Rate: 3.92 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent or clean the rental; 10 days to remedy a rental agreement violation; immediate unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Arizona cuts the time it takes to file for eviction in court down from Alaska’s 24-hour minimum to immediately upon notice for an unconditional notice to quit due to discharge of a weapon, homicide, prostitution, criminal gang activity, use or sale of illegal drugs or threatening to harm another person. After informing the tenant, the landlord can immediately file an eviction lawsuit with the court.

Arkansas

Arkansas

Red two story condos in Fayetteville Arkansas with a blue sky and green grass.

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Eviction Rate: 1.82 percent
Notice to Vacate: 10 days to pay rent; 14 days to remedy rental agreement violation; three-day notice when pursuing unlawful detainer; 30 days to end informal month-to-month lease or seven days if rent is paid weekly.

Arkansas’s eviction process is particularly tough on tenants; it leaves room for tenants to be fined up to $25 per day for every day they remain in the unit following the three-day unlawful detainer notice, as well as a new misdemeanor charge (up to 30 days). After the landlord has filed for eviction following the three-day notice, the tenant has five days to file an objection to the proceedings. Otherwise, the landlord can obtain a writ of possession from the courts and have the tenant evicted immediately by law enforcement.

California

California

Downtown Los Angeles at sunset.

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Eviction Rate: 0.83 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; three-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease or 60 days if tenancy lasts longer than one year.

The tenant cannot be removed from the property until an eviction case has gone through the court system, but the three-day notice regarding all forms of cause leaves tenants with little notice to begin preparing to fight eviction or find a new place to live if they opt to move on.

Colorado

Colorado

Cherry Creek, Denver Colorado

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Eviction Rate: 2.75 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; three to 91 days to end month-to-month lease.

Only three days’ notice is required for nonpayment of rent or a lease violation, but in situations of health or safety concerns, or if the tenant has committed a crime on the property, the landlord does not need any notice to file suit for eviction. Changes to Colorado’s law last year expanded the required notice that either side must give to terminate a lease without a violation: If the tenant has been at the residence between one week and one month, three days’ notice is required, less than six months requires 21 days, less than one year requires 28 days and more than one year requires 91 days.

Connecticut

Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut, USA downtown cityscape.

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Eviction Rate: 3.04 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; 15 days to remedy rental agreement violation; immediate unconditional notice to quit; three days to end month-to-month lease.

If a tenant manages to halt an eviction for a rental agreement violation by correcting the issue, it's important to avoid creating the same error again in the future. In Connecticut, tenants who repeat the same offense in six months don't get another 15 days to avoid eviction, and the court process can begin immediately. But with month-to-month agreements, the landlord has a significant advantage in only having to provide a three-day notice to a tenant to move out, even without reason.

Delaware

Delaware

Last minute vacation in Wilmington Delaware, United States

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Eviction Rate: 5.1 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; seven-day notice to remedy rental agreement violation or unconditional notice to quit. No notice required for threats of causing harm to a person on the property or to the property itself. Sixty days to end month-to-month lease.

Delaware’s laws for eviction follow similar patterns to other states, but they allow for landlords begin the eviction process without required notice in the case of threats of irreparable harm.

District of Columbia

District of Columbia

Colorful row houses in Washington DC, USA

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Eviction Rate: 2.59 percent
Notice to Vacate: 30 days to pay rent or correct rental agreement violation; immediate serving of complaint with court date for unconditional notice to quit.

The District of Columbia’s landlord-tenant law is aimed at keeping tenants from being suddenly without a home. Even for a yearlong lease, the rental agreement automatically changes to a month-to-month lease under the same conditions, unless a lease renewal has occurred or the tenant has opted to move elsewhere.

Florida

Florida

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Eviction Rate: 2.53 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; seven days to remedy rental agreement violation; seven-day unconditional notice to quit; 15 days to end month-to-month lease.

Following the required notice period, if the tenant has been unable to remedy an issue, a Florida landlord can serve the complaint to the tenant, giving the tenant five days to respond to the clerk of court noting the defense contesting eviction. Without response from the tenant, the landlord can receive a default judgment from the clerk and eviction will be official.

Georgia

Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia downtown aerial view.

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Eviction Rate: 4.71 percent
Notice to Vacate: 24-hour notice with cause; 60 days to end month-to-month lease.

Georgia’s eviction law does not provide landlords with a minimum period of time to wait before filing an eviction lawsuit, though in practice it appears to be one to 10 days. However, a tenant choosing to fight eviction is permitted by law to remain in the property until a court decision is made, and the landlord is not allowed to cut off utilities during this period.

Hawaii

Hawaii

The Na Pali Coast State Park is a 6,175 acres (2,499 ha) Hawaiian state park located in the center of the rugged 16 miles (26 km) along the northwest side of Kauai, the oldest inhabited Hawaiian island. The Na Pali coast itself extends southwest starting at Ke e Beach extending all the way to Polihale State Park. The na pali (high cliffs) along the shoreline rise as much as 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above the Pacific Ocean. The state park was formed to protect the Kalalau Valley.

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Eviction Rate: 0.41 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; 10 days to remedy rental agreement violation; zero notice for egregious damage to property or threats to do so; 45 days to end month-to-month lease.

Hawaii’s laws for notice prior to suing for eviction include no required notice when threats of property damage are involved, but the state is also involved in a grassroots effort to help empower tenants called Steps to Avoid Eviction. STAE’s mission includes helping landlords receive rent on time and keeping tenants from becoming homeless.

Idaho

Idaho

Capitol Blvd, Boise, Idaho

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Eviction Rate: 0.61 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; three-day or immediate unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Idaho’s notice prior to eviction proceedings may not be long, but tenants do have rights in other situations. While many states do not allow tenants to withhold rent when the landlord fails to make unnecessary repairs, Idaho is one state that does. The tenant is also allowed by law to sue the landlord to comply with necessary repairs or deduct rent for any repairs the tenant did on his or her own.

Illinois

Illinois

Prairie Avenue Mansions in Chicago

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Eviction Rate: 1.58 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; 10 days to remedy rental agreement violation; five-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

While the days for notice prior to a landlord suing for eviction are not out of the ordinary compared to other states, judges in Illinois often provide tenants with additional time to move out when the landlord wins the eviction case, according to the Illinois Attorney General’s website. Additionally, the tenant has 30 days to appeal the decision.

Indiana

Indiana

Downtown Indianapolis skyline at twilight

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Eviction Rate: 4.07 percent
Notice to Vacate: 10 days to pay rent; 30 days to end month-to-month lease (no notice required with cause).

Indiana’s landlord-tenant law focuses on ensuring payment of rent takes place and does not specify many situations in which notice is required for other rental agreement violations. Practice appears to dictate that a landlord should give the tenant a period of time to attempt to remedy the situation, but state law stipulates no notice is needed when the tenant has overstayed a lease term, the tenant neglects to pay rent in advance when it was previously specified or when the tenant “commits waste," or damages the property in some way.

Iowa

Iowa

USA, Iowa, Pella, storefronts lining street

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Eviction Rate: 2.01 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; seven days to remedy rental agreement violation; three- or seven-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Like a few other states, Iowa provides two different periods for an unconditional notice to quit based on the severity of the situation: If the tenant is perceived to be a clear and present danger to other people on the property or the property itself, only three days’ notice is required to sue for eviction.

Kansas

Kansas

Kansas City, Kansas

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Eviction Rate: 2.3 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

The longer notice period to remedy a rental violation in Kansas gives the tenant just 14 days to fix the issue at hand, but it provides for another 16 days to vacate the premises or prepare a defense in the upcoming eviction case. Following the landlord filing in court, the tenant has 10 days to file an answer with the court.

Kentucky

Kentucky

Old historic city downtown of Lexington, Kentucky, USA

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Eviction Rate: 2.91 percent
Notice to Vacate: Seven days to pay rent; 15 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 14-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Kentucky’s unconditional notice to quit exists primarily to allow a landlord to move toward the eviction process if the tenant has repeated the same rental agreement violation more than once in a six-month period.

Louisiana

Louisiana

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Eviction Rate: 2.64 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five-day notice to vacate; 10 days to end month-to-month lease.

Louisiana’s law for eviction does not require the landlord to allow the tenant to remedy the situation or pay back past-due rent. Instead, a simple notice to vacate is required with just five days’ notice. Should the tenant choose to fight eviction, however, there will be at least an additional three days before the court date.

Maine

Maine

Portland, Maine, USA downtown skyline.

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Eviction Rate: 2.26 percent
Notice to Vacate: Seven days to pay rent; seven-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Maine’s state law dictates that the seven-day notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent can only be issued after the rent is already seven days late. With that notice, the tenant can still remedy the situation by paying the overdue amount within the seven days.

Maryland

Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland

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Eviction Rate: 3.56 percent
Notice to Vacate: No notice for nonpayment of rent; 14 days to remedy threat to property or others; 30 days to remedy another rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Maryland is particularly tough on tenants facing income woes, as there is no grace period or chance to pay overdue rent before the landlord can file suit for eviction. Following an eviction case that sides with the landlord, the landlord has five days to file for a warrant of restitution and schedule the local sheriff’s department to facilitate the physical removal of the tenant.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts

A Boston neighborhood.

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Eviction Rate: 1.52 percent
Notice to Vacate: 14 days to pay rent; 30 days to end month-month lease.

Outside of nonpayment of rent, Massachusetts’ state law doesn’t dictate the notice period for other rental agreement violations. Your landlord should specify in the lease agreement how many days to expect for notice – seven days, for example – but beyond paying the rent, the landlord is not required to let you try to remedy the situation and stay in the rental.

Michigan

Michigan

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Eviction Rate: 3.28 percent
Notice to Vacate: Seven days to pay rent; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation or to end month-to-month lease.

Aside from rent payment issues, tenants in Michigan have longer than most other states. However, Michigan courts also have an expedited lawsuit process for landlords called summary proceedings. So if you’re a tenant who is planning to fight eviction, it’s best to use those 30 days of notice to prepare to argue your side in court.

Minnesota

Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA – June 28, 2015: Central business district of Minneapolis. Together, Minneapolis and St. Paul anchor the second largest economic center in the Midwest behind Chicago.

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Eviction Rate: 0.59 percent
Notice to Vacate: No notice required to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; 14 days to pay rent for an unwritten rental agreement; up to three months to end month-to-month lease.

Minnesota’s law on eviction notice is unique, as no notice is required when the tenant has not paid rent or violated the lease, but the suit for eviction can be used as notice and remedied if the court has not yet made a decision. Additionally, ending a month-to-month lease is dictated as requiring notice of the length of time between rent due dates (usually 30 days) or three months, whichever is shorter.

Mississippi

Mississippi

Oxford, Mississippi

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Eviction Rate: 3.96 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Similar to other states, Mississippi’s eviction law requires landlords to accept payment of late rent and correction of any rental agreement violation. And he or she does not have the right to move forward with eviction if the tenant does what is needed to remain on the property.

Missouri

Missouri

Last minute vacation in Kansas City, Kansas

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Eviction Rate: 2.85 percent
Notice to Vacate: Notice to vacate or demand for rent; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Missouri does not establish a specific number of days the landlord must wait for the tenant to pay overdue rent or correct a rental agreement violation, but the landlord may establish a waiting period in the original lease agreement. Eviction processes can be expedited in the courts when there is evidence of illegal drug activity on the property, and in some cases the landlord doesn’t even have to be a part of the eviction – a neighborhood organization, like a homeowners association, can evict the tenant for drug activity.

Montana

Montana

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Eviction Rate: 0.86 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; 14 days for other rental agreement violations; five-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Montana distinguishes between levels of rental agreement violation, stipulating that unpaid rent, an unauthorized tenant or pet, property damage or the arrest of the tenant require just three days’ notice.

Nebraska

Nebraska

Omaha downtown

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Eviction Rate: 2.17 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Like Kansas, tenants in Nebraska who have violated their rental agreement may receive a 30-day notice, during which they have the first 14 days to try to remedy the violation. If at the end of 14 days the problem persists, the landlord can sue for eviction at the end of 30 days if the tenant has not already vacated the property.

Nevada

Nevada

Clear winter sky above golf course homes and casino resort towers in Southern Nevada.

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Eviction Rate: 3.41 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; immediate unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Landlords in Nevada have the ability to provide notice for the tenant to immediately vacate the property or face an eviction lawsuit when they have illegally sublet the property, created a nuisance or caused substantial damage or injury to a person on the property.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

The North Church of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States is a historic church. It is located in Market Square across from the Portsmouth Atheneum. The church features an Italianate edifice and a steeple which can be seen from most of the city. The spire of North Church has been referred to as Portsmouths landmark of record.

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Eviction Rate: 1.7 percent
Notice to Vacate: Seven days to pay rent or unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

The New Hampshire Department of Justice notes on its website that tenants renting on private property occupied by the owner “can be evicted for almost any reason,” though it also lists examples of reasonable cause, including property damage, failure to pay rent or violating the lease agreement. When the tenant is late on rent, he or she can avoid eviction proceedings by paying the overdue amount in full, plus $15, before the last day of the notice.

New Jersey

New Jersey

USA, New Jersey, Trenton, New Jersey State Capitol and Veteran's Memorial, dusk.

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Eviction Rate: 0.01 percent
Notice to Vacate: No notice required to pay rent; three-day unconditional notice to quit; 30-day notice for habitual rental agreement violation; one month to end month-to-month lease.

While the landlord does not need to give notice to a tenant who has missed rent or allow the tenant to pay the overdue amount, the tenant may be able to win the case if he or she can prove the landlord has previously accepted late rent regularly without threats of eviction. Tenants who have lost their eviction case in court may also receive a delay in lockout through the state's Tenant Hardship Act, which allows the judge to keep the tenant from being removed from the property for as long as six months, with certain requirements, including paying back rent.

New Mexico

New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Eviction Rate: 3.18 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; seven days to remedy rental agreement violation; three-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

In New Mexico, notices come with fairly short notice, particularly when breach of contract cannot be remedied, but the state law also stipulates that the tenant can remain in the property during the waiting period for the court date to determine if eviction will take place.

New York

New York

Times Square in New York.

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Eviction Rate: 2.15 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; 30 days unconditional notice of termination following notice to cure rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Tenants who have violated the terms of rental agreements will receive a notice to correct the situation, and if the correction is not made to be in full compliance of the lease, the landlord can issue a 30-day notice of termination. The initial notice to cure does not have a specified minimum time period, but if you feel your landlord did not allow sufficient time to correct the violation, consider disputing the issue in court during the eviction process, which follows the 30-day period after the initial notice.

North Carolina

North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA skyline.

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Eviction Rate: 4.61 percent
Notice to Vacate: 10 days to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; seven days to end month-to-month lease.

Tenants who are unable to pay rent in North Carolina have some additional notice to find a new place to live or prepare to fight in eviction court. After the 10 days to pay overdue rent, an additional notice for termination will be issued, either two, seven or 30 days before suit is filed, depending on the length of the lease.

North Dakota

North Dakota

Fargo, ND, USA - July 24, 2015: View of the Northen Pacific Ave in downtown Fargo N. Dakota

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Eviction Rate: Unavailable
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; immediate notice for rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Once you’ve received notice to end tenancy in North Dakota, the landlord has the ability to pursue eviction even if the tenant pays overdue rent or corrects the lease violation within the notice period. For all reasons, the landlord must give notice through writing that the lease is effectively over, and eviction proceedings will begin after the notice period.

Ohio

Ohio

Downtown Columbus, Ohio On A Sunny Summer Day With Reflection In The River.

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Eviction Rate: 3.49 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three-day unconditional notice for all causes; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

In Ohio, notice prior to the start of eviction proceedings does not allow for a grace period in which the tenant can correct an error or make a late payment. Once the landlord files suit for eviction, the court date can be scheduled as quickly as two weeks later.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

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Eviction Rate: 4.24 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; 15 days to remedy rental agreement violation; no notice for unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Oklahoma allows landlords to immediately file for eviction with the courts without notice if the tenant has caused harm to a person on the premises or has threatened to do so, or if the tenant is engaged in illegal drug or violent activities on the property.

Oregon

Oregon

Sunrise View of Portland, Oregon from Pittock Mansion.

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Eviction Rate: 1.1 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three or five days to pay rent; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 24-hour unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

The state of Oregon allows the landlord to decide whether three days or five days is enough for the tenant to try to pay back overdue rent. Oregon is one of a few states that notes the courts may require the landlord and tenant to undergo mediation to try to fix the problem, rather than default to an eviction.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Eviction Rate: 1.77 percent
Notice to Vacate: 10 days to pay rent; 15 or 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation.

In Pennsylvania, tenants who have been in a rental longer are allowed a bit more time to try to remedy a lease violation: Tenancy for less than one year guarantees 15 days, while more than one year guarantees 30 days. Following any notice period, eviction hearings are typically scheduled for one or two weeks after filing.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Along the cliff walk in Newport, RI, there are some spectacular residential buildings open for the public to enjoy.

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Eviction Rate: 3.07 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; 20 days to remedy rental agreement violation; no notice required for unconditional eviction; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

The five-day notice to pay rent can only be issued after the tenant’s rent is 15 days late. Following the notice period, any tenant who does not appear in court to dispute the eviction proceedings will by default lose the case and be formally evicted.

South Carolina

South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, at the historic homes on The Battery.

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Eviction Rate: 8.87 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; 14 days to remedy rental agreement violation; immediate unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

South Carolina’s law regarding notice to pay rent includes a loophole in which the landlord can include notice for nonpayment of rent in the lease itself. If the lease states that the landlord will file for eviction five days past the rent due date, no other written notice is required before filing with the court.

South Dakota

South Dakota

Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota.

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Eviction Rate: Unavailable
Notice to Vacate: Three-day notice for unpaid rent; no notice required for rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

The three-day notice regarding nonpayment of rent may only be issued after the rent is already three days late in South Dakota, giving the tenant an additional three days to relocate or prepare to fight eviction in court.

Tennessee

Tennessee

Memphis, TN, USA - August 5, 2015: View of Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 2.78 percent
Notice to Vacate: 14 days to pay rent or repair damage; 30 days to remedy other rental agreement violations; three-day unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Tennessee places a hard line on illegal drug activity in rental properties; such actions allow for the three-day unconditional notice to quit, while threatening other tenants or committing a violent crime are considered possible to remedy and fall under the 14-day notice to correct behavior. In the case of domestic violence, only the aggressor may be evicted and with a three-day notice to quit.

Texas

Texas

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 2.17 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three-day notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent or other rental agreement violation; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

As long as federal Fair Housing laws are properly followed, Texas landlords are permitted to refuse to renew a lease for any reason, and they require little notice and no forgiveness period before moving forward with eviction proceedings.

Utah

Utah

Salt Lake City downtown shot from the Meridian Monument looking to the Main Street

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 0.93 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent or remedy rental agreement violation; three-day unconditional notice to quit; 15 days to end month-to-month lease.

While Utah’s notice prior to beginning eviction proceedings primarily sticks to three days whether the cause is nonpayment of rent, a minor rental violation or the tenant has been deemed a nuisance, among other reasons, the distinction between the different reasons for the notice is important when moving forward with formal eviction. As a result, Utah differentiates between notices to remedy a violation and unconditional situations like committing a criminal act on the premises or subletting the space without permission.

Vermont

Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, United States, New England, North America

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 0.09 percent
Notice to Vacate: 14 days to pay rent; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 14 days unconditional notice to quit; 60 or 90 days to end month-to-month lease.

Vermont’s law helps ease the burden of long-term, month-to-month tenants by requiring as much as three months’ notice to require them to move should the landlord no longer wish to rent to them.

Virginia

Virginia

"The skyline of the city of Rosslyn, Virginia in the Washington DC metropolitan area (just across the Potomac River from the city of Washington DC.)"

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 5.12 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; 30 days to remedy rental agreement violation; 30 days or none for unconditional notice to quit; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Regarding cases of illegal drug activity on the property, the 30-day unconditional notice to quit is no longer necessary and the landlord can start eviction proceedings without providing any notice to the tenant.

Washington

Washington

Seattle, Washington during the commuting hour with the downtown area and Century Link field, home of the NFL football Seahawks, on the left.

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 0.82 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three days to pay rent; 10 days to remedy rental agreement violation; three-day unconditional notice to quit; 20 days to end month-to-month lease.

Washington stipulates an unconditional notice to quit is warranted when the tenant commits a crime or creates a nuisance on the property.

West Virginia

West Virginia

Charleston West Virginia

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 3.52 percent
Notice to Vacate: No notice required to evict with cause; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

West Virginia is one of the five states (the others being Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri and New Jersey) that requires no written or verbal notice to the tenant to file suit for eviction due to nonpayment of rent or other rental agreement violation.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

A vivid, photo taken from an airplane of downtown Madison, Wisconsin in spring.

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 1.89 percent
Notice to Vacate: Five days to pay rent; five- or 14-day unconditional notice to quit; 28 days to end month-to-month lease.

Tenants who are behind on rent may receive a five-day notice, which allows them to pay rent and stay in the home, or they may receive a 14-day notice, which does not allow them to try to remedy the situation. This is also the case for other rental agreement violations for tenants with a fixed-term lease. But month-to-month tenants violating their agreement only receive 14 days’ notice to vacate. Additionally, tenants reported by the police to be involved in drug- or gang-related activities can receive a five-day notice to vacate.

Wyoming

Wyoming

Cheyenne downtown skyline with train cars, houses, and trees in view.

(Getty Images)

Eviction Rate: 0.88 percent
Notice to Vacate: Three-day notice to quit with cause; 30 days to end month-to-month lease.

Wyoming does not require landlords to allow for any grace period to correct a rental agreement violation, including paying overdue rent. Instead, state law establishes that after three days (or 30 days for a month-to-month tenant who has not violated his or her lease), the landlord can file for eviction.

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Updated on April 26, 2019: This story was previously published on April 9, 2015, and has been updated with new information.

Tags: real estate, renting, income, money


Geoff Williams has been a contributor to U.S. News and World Report since 2013, writing about a variety of personal finance topics, from insurance and spending strategies to small business and tax-filing tips.

Williams got his start working in entertainment reporting in 1993, as an associate editor at "BOP," a teen entertainment magazine, and freelancing for publications, including Entertainment Weekly. He later moved to Ohio and worked for several years as a part-time features reporter at The Cincinnati Post and continued freelancing. His articles have been featured in outlets such as Life magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, Cincinnati Magazine and Ohio Magazine.

For the past 15 years, Williams has specialized in personal finance and small business issues. His articles on personal finance and business have appeared in CNNMoney.com, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes.com and American Express OPEN Forum. Williams is also the author of several books, including "Washed Away: How the Great Flood of 1913, America's Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever" and "C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America"

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Williams lives in Loveland, Ohio, with his two teenage daughters and is a graduate of Indiana University. To learn more about Geoff Williams, you can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow his Twitter page.

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