Notice to Vacate For Non Payment of Rent
Most landlords often want to have a very good relationship with their tenants, characterized by the renter paying their rent in time and adhering to their lease terms. However, there are times when this is harder said than done. For instance, if the tenant has been having a hard time with their finances, they might not be able to pay their rent on time. In such instances, there are several things that the landlord can do to compel the tenant to either pay up or leave the premises, the most important of which is the notice to vacate.
What is a Notice to Vacate?
As the name suggests, a notice to vacate is an instrument that is used to compel your tenants to vacate your premises for any reason. Most people use it when their tenants are unable to pay their rent or have been in arrears for very long. However, this legal document can also be used in other circumstances, such as when the tenants violate some part of their lease agreement.
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Can you handle such issues without giving a eviction notice?
If your tenants become problematic when it comes to paying rent, you may entertain the thought of simply going over and asking them to leave, but unless you know them very well it’s probably not a good idea. If you are keen on evicting tenants on the basis of not having paid the rent, the only way you can do this is by sending them the notice to vacate first.
If you try to have them leave the premises in any other way, you are likely to violate a few laws, and this means that they can take you to court and even sue for damages. In the end, you may end up actually having to pay the tenants, rather than the other way round.
What are some of the qualities of an effective notice to vacate?
Whenever you want to use this type of instrument, it’s a good idea to remember that it’s a legal notice. This means that in order for it to be enforceable, it needs to be handled in a certain manner, written and delivered properly. Your best bet at this is finding an experienced service like ours, Houston Evictions, and letting us handle it for you. We both hand deliver a notice to vacate and send one via Certified mail, so there are no issues in court. This is the least complicated way of doing this, since you will have the backing of a lot of eviction experience and going to court, if necessary.
Also when you have a 3rd party like us deliver the notice they know you are serious and are going to take action. Many times they will pay the back rent and you have avoid a messy eviction trying to do it yourself.
Nevertheless, it’s still important to understand some of the qualities of an effective notice to vacate, so that you can easily come up with your own if you want to. Some of the things you should ensure it has include:
- Enough room to respond to the notice: when you send such a notice, you can’t expect the tenant to move out instantly. This is illegal unless it is written in your lease. In Texas you have to give the tenant a minimum of 3 Days to vacate the premises. This means that when you are in the process of drawing up such a letter, it would be wise to look up such details first so that you don’t end up with a potentially illegal notice. Of course, if you allow us to do this for you it is not likely to be a problem for you.
- A specific reason why you are evicting them: such a note also needs to spell out very clearly why you need the tenant to vacate the premises. For instance, if they have not been paying their bills or the rent on time, you need to spell this out clearly. For instance, you need to provide information about the outstanding amount as well as for how long they have not been paying rent, as well as the provisions that are there in the lease regarding this. The key is to ensure that even if a third party reads the notice, they will instantly see why you opted to have the tenants evicted. This should include dates, rental amounts, and late fees. Now the courts do not allow late fees but if your tenant wants to stay they need to pay them as detailed in your lease.
- The consequences of not honoring the notice: it’s also important to provide some information about what is likely to happen to the tenant if they don’t honor the notice. This way, you will not be liable for any legal action in case you have to take drastic measures later on, such as changing the locks in the facility. The law states unless otherwise noted in the lease (apartments have this in the lease and it is common practice) when you change the locks you have to leave a note as to where they can get a key to come back in. You do this to get their attention, but we do not recommend it. Just deliver a notice and go to court if they do not move or pay.
The importance of service
As a landlord, you need to remember that simply coming up with such a vacate letter is not enough to have your tenants leave; you will need to make sure that they receive it. On the surface, this might seem simple, but it’s actually a bit difficult. For instance, if you drop the notice at the premises, the tenants could claim that they did not receive it, and in such cases it would not be enforceable in a court of law. To avoid this, it’s always a good idea to come up with a means of having the notice served personally to them. This is why you should hire us, Houston Evictions to do this for you. This way, you will be sure that the notice will be served on time, and that it will have the effect that you need it to have.
In summary, whenever you are interested in giving your tenants a notice to vacate, it would be wise to think things through. There are many landlords who end up having more headaches when they initiate this process, but this does not have to be the case.
When you decide to give out a notice to vacate, you should always remember that there is a potential for many complications later on. It is therefore important that you try to be as perfect as possible when doing things such as drawing up the notice and having it served to the tenants. One way to get some information about what you need to do is by working with us at Houston Evictions, we have staff members who are very experienced in such matters.