While the claim everything is bigger in Texas is arguably true, the chances for problem rental tenants is about the same as any other state. No matter where you own rental property, you're going to encounter at least some tenants who openly defies your rental agreement. Whether it's violating pet ownership agreements, or not paying rent, all of these give you grounds for evictions. Here's a quick guide for landlords when it comes to eviction laws in Texas.
The Three-Day Notice
One thing you've likely noticed in all eviction laws is three-day notice uniformity. You can send this notice out when a renter violates the Texas State Property Code. These laws help form the agreement you set up with your tenant in advance. Any violation allows you to send the three-day notice to stop the violations within this time frame, or seek an eviction.
Even if they amend the violation, Texas gives you legal right to still pursue an eviction suit. You may not have a choice if the tenant hasn't paid their rent for a month or two.
Adding Specific Information to a Notice to Vacate
You'll see the three-day notice often designated as a "Notice to Vacate." When you send these to a tenant, it has to include date, name of the tenant, reason for the notice, as well as the exact time when you expect the person to leave. Plus, you need to include an ultimatum, as well as information on how you presented the notice.
If you don't follow any of these procedures correctly, it's not legally valid.
Presenting the Notice
It's preferable to give the notice in person, though you can give it to a family member who's 16 or older. Most of the time, you'll have to leave the document outside their door in a place where the tenant can see it.
Make sure you post it in a safe place, because if it becomes lost, you'll have to start over with a new three-day notice. Many send these registered mail to assure it arrives safely.
Going Forth With an Eviction
As in many states, you can file an eviction when the tenant does nothing. You'll do this through Texas district court. It means filing a summons and complaint requiring the tenant to attend a hearing with a judge. Known as a forcible detainer case, you can still go forth with this regardless of whether the tenant amends their violation at the last second.
Always review what you can legally do, though, so you don't end up losing your eviction case. Texas sticks with most states on not allowing landlords to change locks or turn off utilities to evict someone. Should you violate eviction laws, you'll have to pay a lot in fines, including one month's rent, and $1000.
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