Phil Querin Q&A: Mailing Non Payment Notices Out of State - Certificate of Mailing

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September 24, 2012

Question. A resident recently moved out of state. The landlord wants to mail a non-payment of rent notice, and would like proof that the notice was received by the resident. Can the landlord mail the notice as a "Certificate of Mailing"?

Answer: If the tenant has left the home, this does not mean that the landlord’s non-payment of rent notices must follow the tenant around the country in order to be effective. Rather, in cases where the tenant apparently abandons the home (or at least is ignoring his/her space rent responsibilities while gone), the landlord should send the 72-hour notice to the tenant at the tenant’s space. If the tenant has another address known to the landlord, he an send a “courtesy copy” so marked, with an advisory that the original was sent to the space. Upon expiration of the 72 hours without payment, the landlord may file for eviction. If the tenant does not show up at the first appearance, the landlord may obtain a judgment of restitution and recover back possession of the space. Then the landlord may send out a 45-day abandonment letter. A Certificate of Mailing (this is not “certified mail”) is always useful when sending notices, and certainly appropriate here.