As a Landlord, How Do I Deliver Proper Notice to Vacate?
There are four methods for delivery of a notice to vacate:
- In-person. Physically handing it to the tenant or someone over the age of 16 who resides at the property.
- Posting on the inside of main entry door. The landlord can enter to post the notice to vacate or other notices.
- By mail. Sending notice via certified mail and regular mail.
- Posting on the OUTSIDE of the main entry door. This method is best not to use for court. BUT is best if entry of the unit and hand delivery is not possible if the goal is to have the unpaid rent paid by the tenant. Note that a mailing still has to occur and has technical requirements which is why this method is not recommended to be relied on for trial. But I have found that posting to the outside of the door when hand delivery is not possible increases the chance of payment of rent.
The preferred method is mailing. In-person and posting on the inside of main entry door can cause tensions or even violence. The law does not require the tenant to see the notice or read it, just that the landlord gave the tenant the notice and the tenant had the chance to receive it, if the tenant does not check their mail or read their mail that is on them for such failure.
We rely on Certified Mail or Priority Mail for tracking purposes. It is not on the landlord to prove that the tenant actually received the notice; what is required is that you send it and can reasonably demonstrate the notice got there.
A proper notice to vacate only requires a letter stating the number of days given to vacate the property based on the lease or rental agreement. When we draft eviction notices they are more in-depth and legally worded, but essentially the wording “three-day notice to vacate” is all that is required.
Is There Anything I Can Do as a Landlord If a Tenant Damages Property After Being Evicted?
Although uncommon, you may be able to seek criminal charges against a tenant who damaged a property after being evicted. You can document the damage for the court to demonstrate something significant happened after the time of eviction, but it’s difficult to prove. It’s up to the local prosecutors to decide if they want to pursue charges.
In my experience, damage to a property rarely occurs after we get involved with an eviction. By the time we get involved, whatever damage will occur has already occurred. There is nothing you can do about it during the period while the tenant still has access to the property.
You can sue them afterward but it is not common because collection on such judgments is rare. Unfortunately, Texas law looks at the situation as you gave the tenant possession of the property during the term of the lease. Until the judge signs the order and executes the writ of possession, the tenant has the right to be there. It doesn’t mean that you can’t try. The tenant may try to resolve the problem without getting a judgment against them.
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