Free Lease Default Letter Template (Notice of Rent Default)

For successful commercial and industrial landlords and property managers, tenant problems and defaults are situations they have to deal with occasionally. As a tenant, probably the first time you hear about default is when you are issued a default notice from your landlord or property manager. This can be very stressful, as you may not know what to do in such a situation.

A lease default letter can be sent either by the tenant to the landlord or the landlord to the tenant. For the tenant, they can send a demand letter if the landlord breaches any part of an agreement they made. The landlord can also send a lease default letter to the tenant due to late rent payments or non-compliance.

Types of Leases

There are two types of leases. Before signing a lease agreement, you should know the difference to understand what to do in case of a breach:

  1. Periodic Rental Agreement: This agreement typically operates on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis. The agreement renews itself after the duration of each rent payment.
  2. Lease agreement: the tenant has the option of paying their rent every month for the duration of the lease, typically one year, but the landlord may decide on a shorter or longer term.

What Constitutes a Tenant Lease Default?

Tenant default is a situation whereby a tenant fails to fulfill what they agreed to do in the lease agreement.

There are several ways in which lease defaults can arise, including:

  • failure to pay the rent and other sums reserved under the lease
  • Breach of the repair agreement
  • Breach of the alienation agreement
  • Breach of permitted use
  • Unauthorized alterations
  • An act of insolvency

A lousy tenant situation can be a costly problem and can lead to eviction. Knowing what to do as a landlord or as a tenant when issuing or being issued with a lease default notice is essential and can be very useful and profitable to both parties involved.

Here are some Key Points To Remember

  • Make sure the tenant is in default: As much as it may seem like a pretty straightforward issue, it is vital to ensure that a tenant is in default before taking any extreme measures against them. It is essential to go through the signed lease to check on the provisions set by the lease in the event of default by the tenant.


The lease may provide that the tenant be allowed to correct the breach within a specified period before taking further actions against them.

  • Failing to check the lease may set the landlord up for a potentially expensive and embarrassing counterclaim, which they may not be well prepared to handle.
  • Commence self-help only if it is clear that acting alone is appropriate: A landlord may assume that a tenant is in default, thereby evicting them without resorting to a process of law. Most jurisdictions permit self-help in such situations; if it works, it works. Nevertheless, you should check with your attorney before resorting to self-help, as many jurisdictions allow landlords to take matters into their own hands.
  • Without a court order authorizing the eviction of a tenant, the landlord may be liable for trespass along with liability under the tenant’s lease if the landlord takes steps to evict a tenant since the tenant may be in default of the lease and would have otherwise been subject to eviction.
  • Any “abandoned” personal property carries its own risk: Landlords and property managers have to be very careful when recapturing any properties that may appear abandoned by the tenant. Some items left behind by the tenant may still be of value to the tenant. The landlord may be found liable for conversion or breach of the tenant’s lease for disposing of any property that they had not been authorized to seize or dispose of.
  • Comprehend any laws governing formal, court-administered eviction: All states have laws that govern how landlords may evict tenants from their premises. In some states, there are courts set aside to listen to matters revolving around tenancy and tenant evictions. Knowing whether your landlord must store your property for a while after the eviction is very important. Some states also provide the tenant with a statutory period to resolve the breach before an eviction can occur.
  • Consider prejudgment possession of premises in eviction proceedings: If there are no meaningful questions regarding the tenant’s default, most states permit the landlord or property manager to reclaim possession of the property in eviction proceedings preceding the entry of the final judgment to allow the landlord to re-let the premises. However, this option comes with a set of logical issues and concerns; a separate court hearing and the posting of a bond may often be required if this prejudgment relief is permitted. Prejudgment possession is an essential tool for landlords and tenants to understand, as it can trigger meaningful negotiation in trying to resolve the dispute.
  • Be open to any form of resolution: Disputes are often tricky, risky, and expensive for both parties. The landlord and property managers must, therefore, be prepared for informal resolution whenever it is a viable option.

What to Do When Issued with a Lease Default Letter?

Lease defaults can hurt your credit report. It is, therefore, important to avoid a negative landlord report aimed at your credit and your reputation as a tenant.

Below are some tips to help you avoid such situations:

  • Work within a time frame: If you are planning to move out before the lease expires, you are still expected to pay the remaining rent. Nonetheless, the landlord, since they have a duty of mitigation, is also tasked with looking for new tenants for your apartment rather than just waiting until your lease expires. Some leases provide that you may decide to buy out the lease, i.e., pay a fee to exit the lease. If your lease does not offer such provisions, you may want to negotiate with your landlord.
  • Examine other considerations: If your lease does not have the provision for a buyout, you may still have other options available. In some cases, the lease may allow the tenant to sublease or assign the property to another tenant temporarily. However, since you may be allowed to sublease or assign the property to another tenant, this will now exonerate you from the duties and responsibilities of your original lease.
  • Assessing your credit: Breaking or breaching your lease may lead to severe damage to your credit rating. The landlord may decide to take you to a small claims court, a process that may be expensive and an inconvenience to you at the same time. If taken to court, the court may rule in favor of the landlord. In this case, you will have to repay your debt to the landlord; the judgment will appear on your credit report and remain in the report for up to seven years.
  • Finding a solution: The last option for when you need to break an apartment lease is to offer to work with your landlord. You can offer to do the legwork to find a new tenant for the unit; this way, the landlord may decide to allow you to break your lease.

Lease Default Notice Template 


[Your Name or Company Name]  

[Your Address]  

[City, State, Zip]  

[Your Email]  

[Your Phone Number]  


[Tenant’s Name]  

[Tenant’s Address]  

[City, State, Zip]

Dear [Tenant’s Name],

Subject: Notice of Lease Default

This letter serves as formal notice that you are in default of the terms of your lease agreement dated [Lease Start Date] for the property located at [Property Address].

According to the clause or section [details of clause or section of the lease that has been violated, e.g., non-payment of rent, unauthorized occupants, etc.]. 

The nature of the default includes [specific details of the default, e.g., failure to pay rent for the month(s) of [specify month(s)], unauthorized alterations to the property, etc.]. 

To remedy this default, you are required to [specify the action needed to cure the default, e.g., pay the total amount due, remove unauthorized occupants, cease unauthorized use, etc.] by [Deadline for Corrective Action, typically 30 days from the date of the letter].

Please be advised that failure to remedy this default by the specified deadline may result in further legal action, including but not limited to the termination of your lease agreement. We may also seek any additional remedies available under the law or in your lease agreement.

We are willing to talk with you about this issue in order to find a mutually agreeable solution because we value our relationship with our tenants. Please contact us at [Your Contact Information] at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter.

We urge you to take immediate action to resolve this issue and comply with the terms of your lease agreement. Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.


[Your Name or Authorized Signatory]  

[Your Position, if applicable]  

[Your Company Name, if applicable]

Sample Lease Default Notice

sample 01

Dear Mr. Doe,

Subject: Notice of Lease Default

This letter is to inform you that you are in default of the terms of your lease agreement for the property located at 456 Tenant Lane, Apt. 101, Metro City, MC 45678, which commenced on January 1, 20XX.

As per Clause 5 of your lease agreement, timely payment of rent is a fundamental requirement.

Our records indicate that you have not paid the rent for the months of December 20XX and January 20XX. The total overdue rent amounts to $2,400.

To remedy this default, you are required to pay the total amount due of $2,400 by March 10, 20XX. This amount includes any applicable late fees as outlined in your lease agreement.

Please be aware that failure to address this default by the specified deadline may lead to further legal action, including the potential termination of your lease. We may also pursue other remedies as allowed under the law and your lease agreement.

We understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise, and we are open to discussing this matter with you. Please contact our office at (555) 789-0123 or via email at to discuss potential payment arrangements or any concerns you may have.

It is important to resolve this matter promptly to avoid any further actions that could impact your tenancy. We appreciate your immediate attention to this issue and hope to find a suitable resolution.


Jessica Miller  

Property Manager  

Bright Horizons Property Management

sample 02

Re: Notice of Lease Agreement Default

Dear Ms. Johnson,

We hope this letter finds you well. We are writing to address a matter concerning your lease agreement for Unit 5B at Oakwood Estates, which began on June 1, 20XX.

It has come to our attention that there has been a consistent violation of the ‘No Pets’ policy as outlined in Clause 8 of your lease agreement. Despite previous verbal warnings, it has been observed that a dog has been residing in your unit since approximately January 20XX.

In accordance with the lease agreement, we kindly request that you rehome the pet immediately or seek alternative housing arrangements that accommodate pets. We ask that this action be taken by April 15, 20XX, to rectify the lease violation.

Please be aware that failure to comply with this request may result in further actions, including but not limited to lease termination proceedings. We value you as a tenant and would prefer to resolve this matter amicably without resorting to such measures.

We understand that circumstances can change, and we are open to discussing this situation with you. If there are any specific reasons or circumstances we should be aware of, please contact us at your earliest convenience. Our goal is to find a mutually agreeable solution.

Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated. We look forward to resolving this issue swiftly and maintaining a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Best regards,


Carolyn White  

Property Manager  

Oakwood Estates Management

Frequently Asked Question

How can one reduce the negative impact?

Once a default has been recorded on your credit report, it stays there for up to seven years. However, there are various things you can do to mitigate the negative impact:
Repayment: if the breach is a result of your failure to pay the rent or damages, try to rectify the situation by paying off what you owe as soon as possible. Once paid, the default status will be changed to “satisfied” on your credit report, which will look better when presented to lenders.
Explanation: you can ask the credit bureaus to add a note to your report when sending it out to the lenders explaining why you got into debt.
Time: you may decide to wait until the period lapses and your credit report is cleared of any blemish. As time goes by, the default listed on your credit report may become less important to lenders.

About This Article

David Waterman
Authored by:
Legal Writing, Tax Law, Real Estate, Technology Start-ups | Graduate in Tax Law BA in History
David Waterman, an accomplished legal writer and expert in tax law, real estate, and technology start-ups, hails from Rutland, Vermont. He completed his undergraduate studies with a BA in History in 2010 before graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 2014. During his time at Georgetown, David actively contributed to the Tax Journal and dedicated his efforts to the immigration clinic as a volunteer. Since graduating, he has honed his expertise in tax law, showcasing his passion for the subject matter. Alongside tax law, David's professional interests also extend to the realms of real estate and technology start-ups, reflecting his diverse and dynamic approach to the legal field.

Was this helpful?

Great! Tell us more about your experience

Not Up to Par? Help Us Fix It!

Keep Reading

Thank You for Your Feedback!

Your Voice, Our Progress. Your feedback matters a lot to us.