Understanding the 3-Day Eviction Notice in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide

By White & Mejias on February 26, 2024

Unfortunately, not all landlord-tenant relationships work out. If you are a Texas landlord and you have a tenant who violates their lease agreement, carries out illegal activity on the premises, or simply fails to pay rent, you can take steps to evict them. It’s a procedure you may initiate by serving a notice to vacate, otherwise known as a 3-day eviction notice.

Understanding how to properly prepare, serve, and follow through with a 3-day eviction notice is essential for landlords. This ensures not only that you are abiding by Texas law but also that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your property and investment. This guide will walk you through what a 3-day eviction notice is, when and how to use it, and what steps to follow once the notice period has expired. 

What is a 3-Day Eviction Notice?

A 3-day eviction notice is a legal document a Texas landlord must provide to a tenant to start the eviction process. This notice informs tenants they have three days to either fix the issue leading to the eviction notice or leave the property. The main goal of this notice is to give tenants a fair warning and a chance to remedy their lease violations before the landlord takes further legal action to evict them. It is a requirement prior to filing any eviction lawsuit. 

Legal Requirements for Issuing a 3-Day Eviction Notice

Texas law sets specific guidelines for issuing a 3-day eviction notice. Landlords must ensure the notice clearly states the reason for eviction, such as non-payment of rent or other lease violations. It should also inform the tenant of their right to either correct the issue or vacate the property within three days. 

Situations that Warrant a 3-Day Eviction Notice

Several situations may lead a landlord to issue a 3-day eviction notice, including, but not limited to:

  • Non-Payment of Rent: This is the most common reason for eviction notices. If tenants fail to pay rent on time, landlords can issue a notice as a first step in the eviction process.
  • Lease Violations: Other violations of the lease agreement, such as unauthorized pets, guests, or damage to the property, can also warrant a 3-day eviction notice. The notice should specify the lease terms that have been violated.
  • Illegal Activities: Engaging in illegal activities on the property is a serious violation that can lead to immediate eviction proceedings.
  • Post-Foreclosure: You bought the property at foreclosure sale and the prior owner and/or tenant of the prior owner will not vacate the house 

For Texas landlords, understanding how to use a 3-day eviction notice correctly is vital for maintaining control over your property and ensuring your rental business runs smoothly. It also provides clear communication and a chance for tenants to correct their actions, which can sometimes prevent the need for further legal steps.

Serving the 3-Day Eviction Notice

The most direct method is personal delivery to the tenant. This means handing the notice directly to them at the rental property. Personal delivery ensures that the tenant receives the notice immediately and there’s no doubt about the start of the three-day period.

If personal delivery isn’t possible because the tenant is not present or refuses to answer the door, Texas law allows landlords to deliver the notice by several different other methods. 

One of those options is to send the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. This method provides proof that the notice was sent, which is important if the tenant denies receiving the notice. Regular mail is also an acceptable form of delivery, however, you have no actual proof of the tenant ever receiving it if you choose this method alone. 

Regardless of the method chosen, obtaining proof of service is important. For personal delivery, a note in your records about the date and time of delivery can serve as proof. When using certified mail, keep the receipt and any confirmation of delivery. This documentation will be vital if the eviction process goes to court, as it proves you gave the tenant proper notice.

After the 3-Day Eviction Notice Period

When the three-day notice period expires, you have a clear path forward depending on the tenant’s response. If they have not complied with the notice requirements or vacated the property, you can proceed with formal eviction proceedings. Here’s what you need to know about the next steps.

If the Tenant Complies or Vacates

If the tenant resolves the issue cited in the eviction notice or vacates the property within the three-day period, the immediate crisis is averted. For tenants who comply, you should document the resolution and continue the rental relationship under the terms of the lease. If the tenant vacates, you should inspect the property for damage, return any security deposit due (minus lawful deductions), and begin the process of finding a new tenant.

Initiating Formal Eviction Proceedings

If the tenant remains on the property after the three-day notice period without addressing the eviction reasons, you can file an eviction lawsuit, also known as a forcible entry and detainer suit, in court. 

After the lawsuit is filed, the court will set a hearing date. Both the landlord and the tenant will have the opportunity to present their case. You should bring all relevant documentation, including the eviction notice, proof of service, lease agreement, and any other evidence supporting the eviction.

If the court finds in your favor, the judge will issue you a judgment in your favor. The tenant will have 5 days from the date of the judgment to either move out of the property or file an appeal to the case. If no appeal is filed and the tenant remains in possession, you can request a writ of possession with the court’s office. This writ allows you to take back possession of the property with the help of the constable’s office. Please keep in mind the constable’s office does not provide movers or a locksmith and that will be the responsibility of the landlord. 

How Can an Evictions Lawyer in The Woodlands Help?

The eviction process is governed by specific legal requirements that vary by location. At White & Mejias, we can help you understand and comply with these laws. This includes the proper serving of eviction notices, filing of legal documents, and adherence to court procedures. An evictions lawyer at our firm can also help by:

  • Preparing and Serving the Notice: We can prepare the 3-Day Eviction Notice, ensuring it includes all necessary information, and make sure it is served correctly. This step is critical, as any mistakes can delay the eviction process or result in the dismissal of the case.
  • Representation in Court: If the eviction case goes to court, having an experienced lawyer represent you can significantly impact the outcome. White & Mejias can present your case, handle all legal arguments, and navigate the court system on your behalf.
  • Protecting Your Rights: An eviction lawyer will work to protect your rights as a landlord throughout the eviction process. This includes seeking to recoup unpaid rent, damages to the property, and any legal fees associated with the eviction.
  • Advising on Complex Situations: Some eviction cases involve complicated situations such as retaliation claims, accusations of discrimination, or tenants with protected status. White & Mejias can provide advice on how to handle these delicate issues legally and ethically.

By leveraging the experience of an eviction lawyer, landlords can ensure that the eviction process is handled efficiently and correctly, minimizing delays and financial losses. This also provides peace of mind, knowing that the eviction is being managed by professionals familiar with Texas eviction laws.

Speak to an Evictions Lawyer in The Woodlands Today

If you’re a landlord facing the need to issue a 3-day eviction notice or if you’re already in the midst of an eviction situation, reach out to White & Mejias. We can help ensure that your eviction notice and subsequent actions are legally sound and effectively managed. Our team is ready to assist you with professional advice and representation, ensuring that your rights as a landlord are protected every step of the way.  For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call (713) 818-7116 or contact us online today.


Category: Evictions