Definition of terms as discussed below.
- Rent Due Date: If the lease says the rent is due on the 1st then that is the Due Date and any day after that the rent is late. Period!
- Rent Grace Period: If your lease says the tenants have 5 days after the Due Date and then they will be charge a late fee, usually $100, and after that $25 / day, this is the Grace Period., you are giving them grace and not charging a late fee the first 5 days. But this does not mean the rent is NOT LATE. This is an important distinguishing factor. The rent is late when it is not paid on the 1st of the month. You can therefore send a Notice to Vacate letter on the 2nd day of the month, as stated in the Texas Property Code.
Recommendations for different scenarios:
- Scenario 1: if this is the first time they are late you wait until the end of the “Grace Period” in your lease, but no longer. If the tenant feels that you are giving them some slack on the lease requirements, this is a signal that they can start to take advantage of you on this and other areas. Do not wait longer than the “Grace Period” . It takes a few minutes to write the notice plus a stamp. The dividends are enormous.
- Scenario 2: the second time they are late, there are two options
- if they were late last month then send the notice on the 3rd day from the date the rent is due. Do not wait until the end of the Grace period. Contact us a let us deliver a 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit. The reason why when you have a 3rd party like us hand deliver a notice they know you are serious and will not tolerate late payments or excuses. This is a business for you not an act of charity, therefore you need to operate it like one.
- if the rent is late 3 or more months after the last time they were late repeat Scenario 1
- Scenario 3: if the previous two months they were late but eventually got paid up, you know there is a problem. If they are late a 3rd time you definitely need us to deliver a Notice to Vacate. The reason we suggest this is because they have established a pattern and are having difficulty and they need to rent a place that they can afford. It’s clear that some financial issues have happened to them, but you don’t want to be the one left empty handed. You need the rent to pay your mortgage.
- Summary: if in any of the above scenarios after delivering the notice and they have not paid start the eviction process. You cannot afford to allow this to go on and suffer the loss of more rent and eviction cost. Minimize your damages now. We have seen time after time that most of these situations never end out good for the landlord that succumb to the pleas for more time. It just does not end well for you.
If in any of the first 2 scenarios above they don’t pay the rent after receiving the letters then you must start the eviction process right away. Do not delay no matter how hard they plead, that is unless you are so rich that you don’t mind supporting them an subsidizing the rent or you are a charity and not a real business.
What are the steps that you need to follow to deliver an Eviction Notice to Vacate (Quit)
- You need to deliver to them an Eviction Notice to Vacate by hand and / or by a First Class or Certified letter. Texas requires that the landlord prepares a legally written vacate notice that is in agreement with the lease that you and your renter signed. If your agreement is different than the minimum requirements of the law, it is normally held up in court if both parties signed the lease. It is a legally binding contract and will be upheld in court as the law.
- The notice can be hand delivered to a person at the residence in the greater Houston area of 16 years of age or older.
- If there is no one home Texas requires you to send at least a First Class letter and some Fort Bend courts require a signed confirmation letter or to attach the notice to the inside of the front door with a photo proof.
In many cases you will not be able to post the notice on the inside of the door because someone has change the locks and you no longer have a key or there are dogs inside the house that may pose a threat to your safety.
In all such cases you must send a First class letter or even better a signature required receipt letter to the tenant. Just leaving it on the outside of the house with or without a witness will not be sufficient to most of the judges. This varies from precinct to precinct so you need to be careful and just send the letter.
- You are able to give them a vacate notice as early as one day after the rent is due.
Many owners of properties think that they must wait until the “Grace Period” is over but this is not the case. The “Grace Period” in a rental agreement is just that. It is a time that you allow the renters to pay the rent after it is due. A time where you will not charge them a late fee. Once they have reached the end of that time you will charge the a substantial first time late fee to compensate for the lost time in rent and then a daily amount that is less until the rent is paid in full. But the rent is actually late on the first day after the due date and you can therefore deliver a 3 Day Notice to Vacate or whatever time frame is written in your lease agreement.
We at Houston Evictions can handle the entire process for you and leave you knowing that you are in good hands and it will be handled efficiently and effectively. Especially for those landlords that are out of state.
We hand deliver all our notices and send a certified letter as well. Being a 3rd party our hand delivered notices are very effective since the tenant understands that you have hired someone to handle this for you and you are very serious. Many times they will pay the rent right away and if not you know that you need to start the eviction process as soon as possible.
This does take a lot of the burden off your hands and the feeling of guilt as you execute this process to collect your rent. We will help protect your investment and save you money that would have been lost in delaying this action.
Today in Houston and the need to give a Notice to Vacate Letter
Evictions in Houston Texas are getting more and more frequent. The challenge today is to find a reliable tenant that has a secure job and a steady income.
With the huge influx of people moving into Houston looking for work they are all new tenants looking to rent a house. So when they come to Houston, they have not established themselves in their jobs and could have left the previous rent house without paying the rent from another state and you would have a hard time finding that out. If you don’t do a thorough background check from outside of Houston, which many landlords do not, you could end up renting your house to a tenant that has a very bad rental record and you would never know it.
Now you have this new tenant that is not paying you the rent. Their new job didn’t work out, there are many expenses that occur when relocating and they decide that rent is not at the top of the list to pay, thinking that you the landlord will not do an eviction right away but let them slide.
Unfortunately for the majority of good hearted landlords this is the case. They don’t want the pain and loss of income hoping that the current tenant will pay and it was just a bump in the road. That is until the next month roles around and still no rent or partial rent is only paid.
Many tenants will pay part of the rent with promises that they are going to have the rest next week. So you believe them and wait. Well one week passes then two and now the next months’ rent is due and you still have not received the rest of the rent from the previous month.
Now you start to feel the pinch and realize that you may not get the rent again and your mortgage statement still comes like clockwork and you are now late as well. Because you are dependent on the rent being paid to pay your mortgage.
It is always recommended that you deliver a Notice to Pay or Vacate to the tenants the very first time they are late. You need to set a precedent and show them that you will not let them get away without paying the rent for a long period of time. Many landlords make this mistake and that is why then end up deep in the hole, because they held out too long to send that first notice.
You should send the notice right away so that at any time after the due date of the letter you can execute the process of eviction. You don’t have to start it right away if you want to see if they come up with the rent but at least now you are ready to go to the court house and start the eviction process immediately and not lose another month.
Offering a Notice to Vacate Letter and full eviction services to the landlord.