Many people want us to do their eviction but think they will save money by doing their own 3-Day Notice to Vacate. This can be done, but what we have found is that most people just don’t seem to get it right. They always leave something out.
What not to do when giving your tenant a 3-Day Notice to Vacate:
- Do not send it by email. The courts do not recognize this as a valid form of delivery. I know you know they read it. They even called you when they got it or fired an email back saying something nice, right? Until it is written into the property code you can forget about this method, unless you just want to send them an email.
- Do not send it without the address of the property on the notice. Yes, we have been given notices to go to court with and there is no address on it. Everything else is there but you need to have the address of the house for the tenant you are evicting or the court, at the request of the tenant, will say how do we know that this Jane Doe is the right Jane Doe and not some other Jan Doe and some other address? Yes,it gets that bad. Put the address on the notice.
- Do not send it without a date by which they have to be out. The first day of the vacate process actually starts on the day after they receive the notice. For example: they receive the notice on a Monday, they will have to vacate the premises by the end of the day, Thursday; because the first day of the notice started on Tuesday.
- Always send notices by certified mail unless you physically hand it to them or if you have a key, post it on the inside of the front door. If you have to post it on the outside make sure you send a certified letter as well, with tracking so you can prove delivery by the Post Office. Posting it does require a witness, so you should use a letter sent to the tenant as the official means even if you have a witness. This has been my experience.
Here is a section out of the Texas State Property Code about 3 Day Notices:
Sec. 24.005. NOTICE TO VACATE PRIOR TO FILING EVICTION SUIT. (a) If the occupant is a tenant under a written lease or oral rental agreement, the landlord must give a tenant who defaults or holds over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period at least three days’ written notice to vacate the premises before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit, unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. A landlord who files a forcible detainer suit on grounds that the tenant is holding over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period must also comply with the tenancy termination requirements of Section 91.001.
(b) If the occupant is a tenant at will or by sufferance, the landlord must give the tenant at least three days’ written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. If a building is purchased at a tax foreclosure sale or a trustee’s foreclosure sale under a lien superior to the tenant’s lease and the tenant timely pays rent and is not otherwise in default under the tenant’s lease after foreclosure, the purchaser must give a residential tenant of the building at least 30 days’ written notice to vacate if the purchaser chooses not to continue the lease. The tenant is considered to timely pay the rent under this subsection if, during the month of the foreclosure sale, the tenant pays the rent for that month to the landlord before receiving any notice that a foreclosure sale is scheduled during the month or pays the rent for that month to the foreclosing lienholder or the purchaser at foreclosure not later than the fifth day after the date of receipt of a written notice of the name and address of the purchaser that requests payment. Before a foreclosure sale, a foreclosing lienholder may give written notice to a tenant stating that a foreclosure notice has been given to the landlord or owner of the property and specifying the date of the foreclosure.
(c) If the occupant is a tenant of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry, the landlord must give the person at least three days’ written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit.
(d) In all situations in which the entry by the occupant was a forcible entry under Section 24.001, the person entitled to possession must give the occupant oral or written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible entry and detainer suit. The notice to vacate under this subsection may be to vacate immediately or by a specified deadline.
(e) If the lease or applicable law requires the landlord to give a tenant an opportunity to respond to a notice of proposed eviction, a notice to vacate may not be given until the period provided for the tenant to respond to the eviction notice has expired.
(f) The notice to vacate shall be given in person or by mail at the premises in question. Notice in person may be by personal delivery to the tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years of age or older or personal delivery to the premises and affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door. Notice by mail may be by regular mail, by registered mail, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the premises in question. If the dwelling has no mailbox and has a keyless bolting device, alarm system, or dangerous animal that prevents the landlord from entering the premises to leave the notice to vacate on the inside of the main entry door, the landlord may securely affix the notice on the outside of the main entry door.
(g) The notice period is calculated from the day on which the notice is delivered. (Note: if the day it is delivered is the 3rd, then the 1st day of the count down starts on the 4th and the 3rd day is the 6th, which is the last day the must be vacated by or pay and on the 7th you can file for an eviction)
(h) A notice to vacate shall be considered a demand for possession for purposes of Subsection (b) of Section 24.002.
(i) If before the notice to vacate is given as required by this section the landlord has given a written notice or reminder to the tenant that rent is due and unpaid, the landlord may include in the notice to vacate required by this section a demand that the tenant pay the delinquent rent or vacate the premises by the date and time stated in the notice.
Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3515, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.
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