Many states have laws in place that require landlords to serve their tenants with a 3-Day Notice to Quit. The state of Texas is no exception.
Serving a 3-Day Notice to Quit gives the tenant two options: pay the rent that’s due or move out. If they don’t move out or pay rent within the notice period, you may continue with the eviction process.
Different states will have different procedures regarding what the Notice to Quit means. As a landlord, following the correct eviction procedure isn’t optional. It’s mandatory. If you don’t follow the right procedure, the eviction will fail and cost you a great deal in legal fees.
The following is everything you need to know about the 3-Day Notice to Quit in Texas.
What Is a 3-Day Notice to Quit?
A 3-Day Notice to Quit is a legal document that a landlord must serve to a tenant in order to initiate the eviction process for nonpayment of rent. According to Texas law, rent becomes late if it isn’t paid within 2 full days once it’s due.
When rent is late, you must give the tenant the 3-Day Notice to Quit to kick start the eviction process. Unlike some other states, you aren’t required to give the tenant an option to pay rent in order to avoid getting evicted. You may, however, choose to do so.
If the tenant doesn’t move out after notice expiration, you may proceed to court and file an eviction suit.
Laws to Follow When Serving a 3-Day Notice to Quit in Texas
When serving an eviction notice to a tenant, disregarding the law could turn out to be costly. As such, you need to know when and how to serve it.
As per Texas law, you must wait two days prior to charging your tenants a late fee. That being said, the law doesn’t have a similar requirement when it comes to serving the 3-Day Notice to Quit.
This means that you can serve the tenant the notice immediately the day after the rent becomes due. So, if the rent is due on the 1st of every month, then tenants must pay it on the 1st. It doesn’t matter where the due date will fall, either – whether it’ll be a holiday or a weekend.
If the tenant pays the rent a day after it’s due, it’s considered late. As such, you may be able to begin the eviction proceedings immediately.
Of course, it’s possible you may have a lease that says otherwise. For instance, the lease may allow tenants to pay rent during a business day when the due date falls on a holiday or weekend. So, in such a case, you can only begin the eviction process if the tenant pays rent two business days later.
So, how should you serve an eviction notice to your tenant? Here’s how if you’re a Texas landlord:
- Hand delivery. You can personally give the eviction notice to the tenant. Alternatively, if you’re unable to do so, you may be able to hand it over to someone living at the rental premises aged at least 16 years
- Mail. You can mail a copy of the eviction notice to the tenant via registered mail, regular mail, or certified mail. Make sure to request a return receipt, however
- Posting it in a visible place. If you can enter the tenant’s premises legally, then you can post the notice on the inside of the front door. If you can’t, then you can post it on the outside of the front door. In case there is an alarm or dog that prevents you from doing so, you can post it on the front gate
These are the only ways in which a Texas landlord can serve an eviction notice to their tenant. If you don’t, the notice will be legally ineffective.
What to Include in the Eviction Notice
A legally effective notice must include the following information:
- The day you served the notice
- Your rental property’s name and address
- The reason for serving the notice like, for example, nonpayment of rent
- A statement that says the tenant has only 3 days to move out and the exact date they need to have moved out
- A statement that you may pursue legal action if the tenant fails to move out
- A statement indicating which method you used to serve the tenant with the eviction notice
The Outcome of Serving a 3-Day Notice in Texas
Once you serve the renter a 3-Day Notice to Quit, there are two possible scenarios that may result. That is, the tenant obeys the notice and vacates the property, or they disregard it and continue living there.
If the tenant takes the first option, they can choose to move out or fix the violation. There are many factors that could determine how likely the tenant is to obey the notice. For example, it could involve their current financial situation and the fear of getting an eviction on their rental history.
If they take the second option, you can continue with their eviction at an appropriate court. This is usually at the Justice of the Peace Court. This is the only way in which you may be able to successfully remove a tenant from your property.
Engaging in “self-help” eviction tactics will only get you in deep water legally. This includes tactics like shutting off the tenant’s utilities, locking them out of their rented premises, and/or removing their belongings. Besides delaying the eviction process, the tenant can also sue you for damages.
If you win the eviction lawsuit against your tenant, the court will issue you with a Writ of Possession. This is a legal document that serves as the tenant’s final notice to move out.
Serving a 3-Day Notice to Quit in Texas is a procedure that must be handled with care. You must follow the specific guidelines or else risk having the eviction be ruled in your tenants’ favor.
If this seems overwhelming to you, consider hiring the services of a professional property management company like McCaw Property Management! We can take care of all eviction matters legally and effectively.
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws frequently change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact McCaw Property Management for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.