When a landlord should provide notice of an eviction

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The head of a wooden gavel rests on top of a small model of a white, two-story house.

04/30/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

How much notice does a landlord have to provide a tenant prior to filing an eviction?

It depends on the terms in the lease. The Texas Property Code requires that a tenant under a written lease or oral rental agreement receive a written notice to vacate the premises at least three days before the landlord files the eviction suit—unless the parties agree in a written lease to a different time period. This would be the case if you used the TAR Residential Lease, which requires only one day written notice to vacate prior to the landlord filing the eviction.

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Categories: Legal, Landlords
Tags: legal faq, property management, renters, contracts


Chris Rosprim on 07/26/2016

Not being a lawyer but in general verbal discussions and agreements are hard to support in court.  Anything relative to real estate matters - especially agreements
that involve and deal with an existing legal contract - such as a lease - should be relegated to written format.  Giving verbal notice to move out and then pursuing the party for the lease and falsifying damages to keep the deposit is certainly not legal and points to why such should be placed in writing.  That being said - CAN the landlord do this?  Yes.  Is it legal - No.

Kay Bee on 07/26/2016

Can a landlord verbally tell you to be out on a certain day….and if you leave on that day there will be no further actions and then turn around and sue you for a full 1 year lease, keep the deposit and falsify damages?

Rick DeVoss on 01/22/2016

Well… this is getting confusing because we have more than one “Chris” on here.  But I would like to add a comment or two.

Having a “cause of action” against a landlord for something he did or did not do does NOT mean you can withhold the rent payment.

Failing to disclose the potential lead based paint issue does NOT mean that the landlord has to make repairs.

If you have lived in the house for years, and you now think you may have “damages” due to the presence of lead, then you need to Pay your rent, and then contact an attorney to file your claim.  —-But you had better be able to prove that you had damages to the court.  ~Just not getting the disclosure form does not constitute having damages.  ...What a bunch of baloney.

There would be no “eviction” proceedings if you had paid your rent on time!
And the landlord has the right to ask you to move out whenever he wants to because you are only renting month to month.  (All he has to give you is 30 day’s notice.)  But if the rent is late, then you don’t even get the 30 days.

You still have not told us on this site what your beef is.  ~If you think you have a real complaint just because the landlord failed to give you the LBP information, then you had better get an attorney to handle the discovery and suit filing.  —-Sure anybody can take a complaint to JP court, and sue for damages.  But it doesn’t sound like you are prepared to prove your case, and the Judge will throw you out of court.

Many agents don’t know what it means to “practice law.”  But a lot of people like to throw that phrase around.  You are able to give your own opinion on a matter, as long as you don’t claim to be an attorney, or do anything that a law license is required for.

I suggest to Mr. Chris that you Pay your rent that is due under the terms of your lease,  Move out, and then hire an Attorney.
Let us know how that works out for you…

chris rosprim on 01/21/2016

Non-payment of rent - tenant may not withhold rent due to need for repairs.  The lease and the law allows for actions for the tenant to take if needed repairs required to be performed by landlord are not done in a specific time frame but withholding rent as described will get you evicted.  If the landlord / manager should have provided a lead based paint form at lease execution and did not then you may have a cause of action against the landlord for which you can take action.  For specific legal answers to your legal questions you need to consult an attorney as those of us who are licensed can not practice law or we jeopardize our license. 

Your options at an eviction hearing are to tell your story to the judge but in most cases if you are being evicted for non-payment of rent then your answer to whether you paid or not is yes or no and if no then you are likely to be evicted as your reasons for not paying the rent are not likely to be recognized by the JP court. 

You are free to file a claim in JP court against your landlord for the maintenance issues or follow the letter of the landlord tenant laws pertaining to same.

And/or get an attorney to represent you - but - such is not required at the JP court level.

Rick DeVoss on 01/21/2016

@Chris —-
I don’t need to “re-read” your original post.
(You might want to proof read a post before you hit the ‘send’ button.)
Your comments were not specific for anyone on here to know what you are talking about.  —-When did you discover that there is lead in the house? —-What proof do you have that the house contains lead?? —-Why have you continued to live there if you feel it is unhealthy to have “lead in the house”...?
Do you even know what the “lead issue” is all about?  —-Have you tested the paint? —-Do you have small children who are chewing on the paint?

~You DO have the right to move out; but you don’t have the right to demand that the landlord repaint the whole house just because it was built before 1978.

Why didn’t you inspect the house and ask about the lead before you agreed to move in (several years ago)...?  ~What makes you an expert on “lead” suddenly?

You should move out of the house immediately, otherwise you cannot claim any damages if you agreed to live with the lead once you knew it existed.

I suggest you contact an attorney.

Chris on 01/21/2016

And to reply to the real estate agent who answered my question my beef with the landlord is that there is lead in this home so you might want to reread my original post sir, thank you.

Rick DeVoss on 01/21/2016

To Chris “no last name” —-
If you are month-to-month, your Landlord only has to give you a 30-day notice to move out, and he doesn’t have to have any reason.
Read your lease.
Almost all of them say that you may not withhold the rent for something like a “code violation”.  The rent has to be paid on time, and then you can argue with the landlord about repairs.  Document everything.  Take photos.
~But one has to wonder why you stayed in the house so long if it is so bad??
Your remarks sound like you are trying to be confrontational.  —-That usually doesn’t work when you are dealing with an attorney.
My advice:  Hire an attorney.
My second advice:  Never rent from an attorney.

I’m not sure what you are saying, but an old house, (prior to 1978), is not a current “code violation” just because it doesn’t meet current building standards.  It is “grandfathered”.  You agreed to lease the house, and you cannot now force the landlord to bring it up to current building standards.

The moment your first lease expired, you agreed to move out in 30 days.  So what is your current beef with the landlord?  Go find another house; and this time, Inspect it before you move in and sign a lease!

Chris on 01/21/2016

Sorry I just reread my posting and it’s a little flawed. That should say as my one year lease has expired. My landlord has sent me a notice. Disregard the phrase when we leave this house

Chris on 01/21/2016

I have a tricky question if someone would care to chime in I’m on a month to month lease right now has my one year original lease agreement expired in 2014. I am withholding rent because there are numerous code violations including lead based paint and possibly asbestos in this home. My landlord has sent me another is demanding I pay rent plus accrued late fees or vacate the premises within three days. I know this is a precursor to the eviction process . Obviously we are going to move for health reasons I just found this out a few weeks ago. There was no disclosure of lead based paint by the landlord when we leave this house nor was there any EPA form it is required by federal law or EPA pamphlet warning on the dangers of lead based paint. What are my options when I go to my eviction hearing? On top of that my landlord is,you guessedit, a LAWYER!!!!!

Dennis on 12/05/2015

My mother and I are renting from a company out of Beaumont, Texas. We have always paid our rent on time, fought once back in October, and never had any problems with all but one resident in our apartment building. The person we have a problem with used to work at the realtor agency, Creel Investment, and is still pretty good friends with people up there. She went up there with another tenant in our apartment complex and filed complaints that we had been fighting constantly. Those are false claims. My mother and I can both prove that they are false and the one fight we had was in October was resolved quickly. The complex we are living in is a bit of a mess. The stairs coming to the upstairs apartments, where my handicapped mother and I live, are unlevel same as the walkway, there wasn’t a single handicapped parking space anywhere in the complex, and when they did put one in they put it down on the other end of the complex next to a gulley that has a broken fence right at the stairs. When my mother fell Monday it was because the person we have a problem with had her boyfriend park in the easily accessible area to stairs and she had to walk around his truck, her disability is broken rods in her back, no discs, and a pinch nerve, and she fell on the steps. She called in Tuesday to notify the agency that she fell and was calling the Governors office to have a handicapped parking placed. They served us Friday with an eviction notice saying we had been fighting and disruptive to other tenants. We can both prove we don’t fight because our work schedules and her always staying at her boyfriend’s camper. Is there any way we can fight this? They won’t talk to us to resolve the issue, they won’t hear us out because it was their friend who filed the complaint, and even the owner of the property won’t talk to us.

Chris Rosprim on 05/22/2015

I do regular and certified mail, hand delivered/posted to the door.  I want to get their attention.  If I have e-mail - will send a copy e-mail.  If I have cell phone - will send to that too.

Rick DeVoss on 04/30/2015

Here are some suggestions for ‘proof of delivery.’
  > Sending a letter “Certified Mail” proves you mailed it.
  > Getting a Return Receipt signed proves they got it.
Since most tenants are ‘smart enough’ not to sign for any letter, especially if they’re dumb enough not to have paid their rent, sending the RRR is probably a waste of money.
  > But you can tape the notice to the front door, and take a picture with your cell phone.  (Be sure the time/date stamp is ‘On’ on your camera.
  > You might also try handing the letter to whomever opens the door when you deliver it, and then step back quickly and take a cell phone photo of them holding it in their hand.
This kind of evidence will stand up in JP court.  Document everything; that is the secret.

  ~Or better yet, ...just don’t manage rental property.    smile

Jim Schweitzer on 04/30/2015

As a J.P. for 12 years, I can’t remember a tenant signing for a certified letter. I’m not giving advice here, but regular mail means regular mail. In person is preferable but still mail it. We follow the law. Best advice is to speak to a real estate attorney who has handled evictions.
Sorry, but I won’t be able to take questions…

Rick Ebert on 04/30/2015

If the lease is oral then you must give a 3-day notice to vacate.

Tracey on 04/30/2015

what if there is no lease.

Rick Ebert on 04/30/2015

I find it best to send the notice first class mail ASAP, and I then send a copy of the notice CMRRR on the first Friday following the first mailing.  Doing so means that the tenant has a better chance of being home for a Saturday delivery meaning that there is an improved possibility that they will have to sign for the notice which is useful in court.

Brenda on 04/30/2015

It doesn’t BUT if you have to prove your notice in court it’s much easier to have the receipt a certified letter provides.

jorge Chiriboga on 04/30/2015

The code does not require to be certified mail.

Brenda on 04/30/2015

The well never runs dry of questions regarding giving proper notice to vacate and evictions. I’ve been in the business for years and still have them. A recent situation: A tenant had not paid rent. I mailed a 3-day notice to vacate and had fully intended to also get by and deliver notice to her by hand that same day. Unexpected events made it impossible for me to get to her house that same day. The primary notice was to be the hand-delivered notice and the mailed notice just a follow up. It was NOT certified mail. Had I succeeded in delivering successful 3-day notice by simply mailing the notice? I decided to be safe to hand deliver the notice but with 1 extra day to vacate. The 2 notices do not match now.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

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