Virginia Poverty Law Center

Understanding a Lease Violation Notice

If your landlord thinks you have broken the rules of your lease, they will give you a letter that says you have violated or ‘breached’ the lease. This type of notice is for violations that you can fix and stay in your home.

What is the notice called?

The letter about a lease violation you can fix may be called one of these things:

  • 21/30 Notice
  • Notice of Remediable Breach
  • Notice of Material Noncompliance

What does it mean?

It means that if you don’t fix the lease violation mentioned in the letter within 21 days or move out within 30 days, your landlord can start the eviction process.

What’s in the notice?

A 21/30 lease violation notice has three main types of information:

  1. A description of what the landlord says you did to break your lease.
  2. The rule or lease paragraph you violated.
  3. The deadlines for fixing the problem, 21 days after the letter, and for moving out if you do not fix the problem, 30 days after the letter.

Sample notice

Sample blank 21/30 notice.

Keep in mind

  • Even after the deadlines in the notice are up, your landlord can’t just force you out. They have to go through the court process and get the sheriff involved. See all the steps in the process.
  • Go to Fight my eviction to learn how you can respond to a landlord’s notice of lease violation.

You may want to talk to a lawyer for specific advice. Contact your local Legal Aid office to see if you qualify for free help.

Take action

Learn what you can do to try to stay in your home and avoid eviction.

Fight my eviction

Sometimes, you can't avoid eviction if your landlord wants you out. But it is always good to learn how the law can protect you and what you can do about your situation.