Whether you have a written lease or a verbal lease (written is alwys better), if the tenant defaults on performance under the lease or holds over on the rental period, you are required to give at least three (3) days written notice to the tenant to vacate the property unless in the lease agreement there is a shorter or longer period of time.
How to properly give notice
Deliver the notice to vacate in person or by mail at the premises. If you give the notice by mail, always send it certified mail, return receipt requested so you will have proof of mailing and receipt. 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. 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.
Tenat fails to vacate or pay after notice
If the tenant fails to either pay the full rent plus any applicable late charges or surrender the premises after the three day notice, the landlord can then file a suit to evict and recover the unpaid rent in the justice court of the precinct in which the property is located. Many justice courts will have the forms needed on their website, or you can go tot the justice court and obtain the form for the suit to evict. The suit to evict will be made under oath.
After the eviction suit is filed and properly served, you will receive a trial date from the court. When you have your trial, you will need to prove all of the elements of the eviction. Those would be (1) there was a lease between landlord and tenant, (2) these are the terms of the lease (e.g., rent was $500 due on the 1st of each month payable in cash or money order), (3) these are the terms of the lease tenant breached (tenant failed to pay all or some portion of the rent due on x date and continues to fail to pay), (4) notice to vacate was sent, (5) tenant failed to vacate and continues to fail to pay rent (6) request the court grant you possession of the property and payment of past due rents.
Additional resources provided by the author
Before you proceed with a suit for eviction, please consult the Texas Property Code Chapter 24
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