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A Landlord’s Guide to Non-Renewal

Packed Moving Boxes in Saint Louis RentalA huge part of keeping your rental vacancies low is to find (and keep) good tenants. But sometimes, things don’t go well between you and your tenant. Your circumstances might have changed, or you really need to do major repairs. In such cases, one of the best ways to end your current lease is through non-renewal. This article will discuss the non-renewal process and some things you need to know in order to handle it properly.

Non-Renewal Vs Eviction

It is important to remember 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 process usually begins when the tenant is in violation of one or more of the terms of their lease and typically 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 other hand, is different in that you are not forcing the tenant out. Rather, you are choosing not to renew the lease at the end of the current lease term. However, that doesn’t mean that a landlord can wait until the end of the lease term to ask the tenant to leave. Similar to eviction, there are certain steps to be followed to ensure a successful renewal process that follows the laws and regulations in your state.

There are different governing laws for rental properties and leases in every state, so it is vital that you know them as well as the steps you have to take to ensure your non-renewal is done according to the letter of the law.

The Non-Renewal Process

A notice advising the tenant that their lease is not being renewed usually kicks off the non-renewal process. The intent of this notice is to let your tenant know that there will be no renewal at the end of their current term.

How early in the lease term should this notice be sent varies from state to state since each one has different regulations on non-renewal notices. Some regions will require you to send the notice 90 days in advance of the lease’s end. Some only require 30 days. While you probably don’t need to give a reason for the non-renewal, the notice must typically be delivered in writing, and in some states, must be sent through certified mail or another signature-based service. You have to know the law in your state so you will know all the regulations you need to follow.

You should also note that it is extremely important not to use non-renewal for situations requiring an eviction, change in terms of a lease, or raising of rent. It is illegal in most places to use non-renewal notices to force a tenant out. It could turn into an ugly lawsuit, especially if a tenant feels they have not been given adequate notice or that their lease was terminated in violation of local law. Legal headaches can be avoided by strictly following the local statute.

It is also to your advantage to have good communication with your tenant before and throughout the non-renewal process. Even if your tenant feels upset by your unwillingness to renew their lease, you should remain professional at all times. Show your tenant that you care about them even if you need things to end. This way you can avoid potential retaliatory damages or other unwanted behaviors, and you can part with your tenant on good terms.


To ensure a smooth non-renewal process, it is good to hire an expert to do it for you. At Real Property Management Endeavor, our Saint Louis 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 636-244-5959 today.

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