When a landlord wishes to terminate a lease, whether because the tenant is behind on rent, has violated the lease, or simply because the lease did not provide for a specific end date and the landlord is ready to end the tenancy, Kentucky law requires that landlords provide tenant(s) notice of the intent to terminate and provide a minimum timeframe for the tenant to either correct lease violations or move out. The timeframe the landlord must provide varies depending on the reason for terminating the lease. Listed below are the three most common reasons for terminating a lease and the minimum timeframe required. For each of the below, the landlord must provide written notice sent by certified mail to his or her tenant(s):
Nonpayment of Rent: When a tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord must provide the tenant with seven (7) days written notice that states the total amount owed. On the eighth (8th) day, if the tenant has not paid the missed rent the landlord may terminate the lease and file for eviction. If the landlord accepts a partial payment of the amount owed, a new seven day notice must be sent to the tenant. KRS 383.660(2).
Lease Violations: For lease violations, Kentucky requires landlords provide their tenants fourteen (14) days written notice of the breach and for the tenant to remedy the breach within those fourteen days. If the tenant has not remedied the breach by the fifteenth (15th) day after the date of notice, the landlord may terminate the lease and file for eviction. The notice must state how the tenant breached the lease and notify the tenant that he or she has fourteen days to correct the breach or the lease will terminate on the fifteenth day. KRS 383.660(1).
Terminating Lease with No Specified End Date/Holdovers: When terminating a lease by notice absent any tenant breach like nonpayment of rent or lease violations, a landlord may be required to give the tenant written notice of his or her intent to terminate. The notice timeframe is determined by the type of tenancy. Generally, the timeframe required is the same as the length of tenancy. For example, if the tenant is paying weekly for a week-to-week tenancy, the landlord must provide at least seven (7) days notice before terminating. If the tenancy is a month-to-month tenancy, or if the tenant has stayed in the property past a specified end date and the landlord has accepted monthly rent after that end date, the landlord must provide at least thirty (30) days notice from a periodic rental date. This means that instead of a calendar thirty day period, the landlord can terminate at the end of the next full periodic cycle. As an example for cancelling a month-to-month tenancy, if a landlord sends written notice on March 15th, the notice must state that the lease will be terminated on April 30th, at the end of the next complete periodic cycle. KRS 383.695.