The 7-day notice is used when a tenant is at least 7 days behind on rent and the landlord wishes to file for an eviction. Providing your tenant with this notice is the first step in the eviction process. The state of Maine also requires this notice for nonpayment of rent.
Who: This notice should be completed by you (the landlord) and delivered to the tenant when they fall 7 days behind on the rent and you want to move forward with the eviction process. However, this is only the first step toward that end goal.
What: This notice tells your tenant that they are 7 days behind on the rent, and that they need to pay the back amount, or vacate the property. If the tenant does neither, the eviction process will begin.
Because of the importance of this notice, there are quite a few things that must be included:
- The tenant’s name
- The address and location of the rental property
- The amount of rent now due
- Your name (landlord)
- Date of service
- Method of service (certified mail with a return receipt, hand delivered with signature, or posted at the premises)
If the tenant does not pay the back rent and/or does not vacate the property, you will need to move forward with the formal eviction process. The next step is to file an eviction document with the court (in the area where the rental property is located).
This notice should be completed and delivered to the tenant when they become 7 days late on the rent (barring any grace period you may have specified in the lease or rental agreement).
Tips and Tricks for Landlords:
Make sure you are completely familiar with the language used in your lease or rental agreement. There may be a grace period specified in the agreement that must expire without the tenant paying rent in order for this notice to be delivered.
You should also understand that if the tenant pays the rent within the 7-day window from the time this notice was delivered, the notice is voice. You will need to wait until the tenant falls behind on rent by 7 days once more to serve them again (starting the process all over again).