Eviction Forms E-1 (15 day Notice of Termination of Storage Space Rental Agreement); E-2 (Notice to Vacate Storage Space for Non-payment of Rent or Other Sums); E-3 (Notice to Vacate Storage Space for Non-rent Breach of Rental Agreement); E-4 (Notice to Vacate Storage Space for Holding Over)

Purpose
The purpose of these forms is to allow you to start the eviction process by giving the tenant a statutorily-required notice to vacate. Under eviction law, if a tenant is in breach of a lease, you must give them three days written notice to vacate before you go to court and file the eviction petition. If the tenant is not in breach of the lease, or if you don’t mind waiting 15 days to require him to leave, the TSSA lease (paragraph 9) allows you to simply give the tenant a 15-day notice of termination (form E-1) for any or no reason – the reason need not be stated, and a lease violation need not exist (but might).

When to Use
All of these forms are used in situations where foreclosure is not an option. For example, you simply want a paying tenant to leave, you do not have a written lease, or the written lease does not contain the required foreclosure language (the TSSA lease does).

Notice of Termination
Use form E-1, “15-Day Notice of Termination of Storage Space Rental Agreement,” when you want the tenant to vacate, even if the tenant is paid in full and there is no other breach of the lease. It is also helpful to use this for a breaching tenant if you can afford to wait 15 days to get the tenant out. If a tenant is in breach of the lease, you have the right to give him only three days notice to vacate (for example, using form E-3 if his violation involves sleeping in his unit). But, if you give him three days notice to vacate for a particular violation, then you must prove that violation in court if the tenant refuses to move out.

Many owners find it easier to give the 15-day notice of lease termination using form E-1, followed up with a three-day notice to vacate using form E-4, “Notice to Vacate Storage Space for Holding Over,” if the tenant fails to move out in 15 days. This way, if you have to go to eviction court, all you have to prove is that you gave the 15-day notice as well as the follow-up three-day notice, and that the tenant did not move out. In this scenario, you would not have to prove, for example, that the tenant was sleeping in the unit.

Non-payment of Rent
Use form E-2, “Notice to Vacate Storage Space for Non-Payment of Rent or Other Sums Due,” when the reason for evicting the tenant is a monetary default (they haven’t paid rent, they haven’t paid hot check fees, etc.). Use form E-3, “Notice to Vacate Storage Space for Non-Rent Breach of Rental Agreement,” when you are evicting a tenant due to a default that is non-monetary. For example, you would use this form if you are evicting a tenant for storing something in the unit that is unauthorized under the lease, or for sleeping in the unit.

Holding Over
Last, use form E-4, “Notice to Vacate Storage Space for Holding Over,” if you gave the tenant notice to move out on a certain date (TSSA lease paragraph 9 allows the facility to give tenants 15 days notice of lease termination, but please note that earlier versions of the TSSA lease require 30 days notice—please check your form) and the tenant did not move out by the date stated in your notice. This form would also be appropriate for use when the tenant gave you notice that he was going to be out on a certain date but he did not move out. In either of these situations, the tenant is staying beyond the term of the lease and is “holding over.”

Tips for Use
These forms can be hand-delivered or sent via the mail with delivery notification. There is no requirement that they be sent certified mail, but it would seem like a good idea to send it both regular and certified mail (certified so that you can prove when the tenant received it, or at least when the mail carrier attempted to deliver it). You will have to be able to prove to the court that the tenant was given at least three days notice to vacate. This means that if you mail the letter(s) (forms E-2, E-3, or E-4), you need to give the letter enough time to get to the tenant’s address and then, once it gets to the tenant’s address, the tenant must have at least three days from that date to vacate. So, when you are mailing any three-day notice to the tenant, the date you tell them to be out needs to have enough “cushion” in it for the tenant to receive the mailed notice and then have three additional days.

Once you send the notice, there is nothing to prohibit you from continuing to negotiate with the tenant. If the tenant wants to make partial payments to avoid the eviction, make sure you get your agreement in writing and that your agreement is clear that if he does not honor the terms of the agreement, you will proceed with eviction. TSSA form PP-1 is a payment agreement form that you can use for these purposes.