When your tenant is unable to come up with the ENTIRE amount of rent owed at the time that payment is to be made, you may serve upon him/her a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit. This is the first step in the eviction process. In fact, eviction cannot occur without this notice. As such, this notice must contain very specific information, and the failure to include this information will render the notice legally ineffective and you will have to start all over again. The notice must include:
i. A demand for the precise amount due;
ii. Instructions on where to pay it;
iii. An unequivocal demand for possession if the rent is not paid within three days of service of the notice;
iv.The date of the notice; and
v. The signature of the landlord or an agent for the landlord.
Remember, that no particular format is required; you just need all the info in there. The rent sought must be in default. Also, the notice cannot be served until the grace period to pay rent has expired.
How to Serve the 3-Day Notice
The 3-day notice can be served in any of the following ways:
1. By personally handing a copy to the tenant ; or,
2. If the tenant is absent from his or her place of residence, and from his or her normal place of business, by leaving a copy with a person of suitable age and discretion at either place, in addition to sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant at his or her place of residence; or,
3. If such place of residence and business cannot be ascertained, or a person of suitable age or discretion there can not be found, then by affixing a copy in a conspicuous place on the property (like on the front door), in addition to delivering a copy to a person there residing, if there is such a person there; in addition to sending a copy through the mail addressed to the tenant at the place where the property is situated.