A Texas (TX) eviction notice is used to inform a tenant that they’re in violation of their lease agreement, and steps are being made to remove them from the rental property unless they correct the problem.
An eviction refers to a lawsuit filed by a landlord to remove tenants and their belongings from the landlord’s property. These lawsuits are filed with the Texas justice courts (also known as Justice of the Peace Court or J.P. courts) and are also referred to as “forcible entry and detainer” or “forcible detainer” suits.
For reference, a Texas Eviction Notice is also known as:
- Texas Notice to Vacate
- Texas Notice to Quit
- Texas Lease Termination
Texas Eviction Notice Types
There are three types of eviction notices in Texas. The most common reasons that might cause a landlord to issue an eviction notice include late rental payments and noncompliance with the lease agreement.
3-Day Eviction Notice (Non-Payment of Rent): The tenant must be given a 3-day eviction notice for non-payment before proceeding with the lawsuit. A payment is considered late if it surpasses the due date specified in the rental agreement, and the eviction notice can be served as soon as the payment is not delivered on time. However, landlords may also issue a late rent notice to remind tenants to pay their rent before filing this official eviction notice.
3-Day Eviction Notice (Non-Compliance): This form is issued by the landlord to let the tenant know that they have breached the lease and will be evicted unless the breach is rectified within three days. An eviction notice for non-compliance, with the specific terms of the lease that have been violated, must be given to the tenant three days before the landlord can legally evict them.
30-Day Eviction Notice (Month-to-Month Lease Termination): A lease termination letter can be used by a landlord or a tenant to let the other party know that they intend to terminate the month-to-month lease agreement at the end of thirty days.
Texas Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: Title 4. Actions and Remedies, Chapter 24. Forcible Entry and Detainer
- Grace Period for Late Fees on Rent Payment: 2 days (Title 8. Landlord and Tenant, Chapter 92, § 92.019)
- Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: 3 days (Title 4, Chapter 24, § 24.005)
- Notice of Non-Compliance: 3 days (Title 4, Chapter 24, § 24.005)
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 30 days (Title 8, Chapter 91, § 91.001)
What is the Eviction Process in Texas?
The eviction process varies slightly depending on the state. Prior to starting the eviction process in Texas, make sure you have read and understand the clauses under Texas Property Code, Title 4. Actions and Remedies and Title 8. Landlord and Tenant. Otherwise, please consult a lawyer to ensure all eviction actions taken comply with the laws of Texas.
For the landlord to start the eviction process in Texas, the landlord must provide tenants with the proper notice in order to terminate a tenant’s right to stay in the rental unit.
Here are the six steps for the official eviction process in Texas:
Step 1: Deliver the eviction notice
The landlord must give the tenant the appropriate eviction notice depending on the circumstances.
Step 2: Wait for the tenant to act
If the tenant cures the breach (if given the option) or moves out within the required timeframe, then no further action is necessary. If the tenant refutes the eviction notice, they must reply to the court through a Defendant’s Original Answer form to argue in their defense.
Step 3: File the initial court documents
If the tenant fails to cure the breach or move out, the landlord must then file a Petition for Eviction from Residential Permit with the Justice of the Peace Court to begin the official eviction process.
Step 4: Attend the court hearing
The landlord and tenant must attend their respective court hearings. Unless the tenant is actually defending against the eviction, these preliminary hearings will typically be held at separate times.
Step 5: File a Writ of Possession
If the tenant doesn’t appeal within five days, the landlord then files a Request for Writ of Possession to the court.
Step 6: Evict the tenant
If the court grants the Request for Writ of Possession, the sheriff will help the landlord to remove the tenant from the premises.
Related Texas Court Forms
The Microsoft word documents provided below should be treated as samples. Many are complex, and the exact forms needed to complete the eviction process may vary by county.
Petition for Eviction from Residential Premises: The official form filed by the landlord, requesting a court order to evict a tenant.
Download: Word (.docx)
Military Status Affidavit: A required supplementary form submitted by the landlord to inform the court whether the tenant is currently serving in the military.
Case Information Sheet: A required supplementary form submitted by the landlord that informs the court of the type of lawsuit being filed and its related parties.
Defendant’s Original Answer: The official form whereby the tenant either confirms or denies the allegations made by the landlord in the Petition for Eviction form.
Download: Word (.docx)
Request for Writ of Possession: The official form submitted to the court by the landlord, requesting a court to use law enforcement to remove a tenant from the property. This form is used when a tenant continues to occupy the rental property after they have been officially evicted.
Download: Word (.docx)
Eviction Information for Landlords and Tenants in Texas
Eviction is a process that most landlords and tenants would like to avoid. However, if it becomes inevitable, here are some landlord- and tenant-specific resources for Texas residents to help both parties go through the eviction process smoothly:
Eviction Resources for Landlords
If an eviction is not legally served, a tenant may not be removed from a property. As a landlord, the eviction notice must:
- Explain the curable and incurable reasons for evicting a tenant
- Include the date the eviction notice was created
- Provide the tenant with the number of days they have to cure the breaches or move out
- Be served through proper legal channels
Find answers to frequently asked questions for Texas landlords for more information.
Eviction Resources for Tenants
As a resident of Texas, tenants have their own set of rights. These rights include:
- The legal documents you must receive before being asked to evict from a property
- The number of days you are given to make curable changes pertaining to the rental agreement
- The right to appeal to the court when an eviction notice has been issued by the landlord.
To understand your rights as a tenant in the state of Texas and the steps you can take if you receive an eviction notice, visit TexasLawHelp.org. You can find out more about the eviction process in Texas as well as download a self-help eviction guide for tenants. Alternatively, if you’re uncertain about how to proceed with the eviction process in Texas, please consult a lawyer to ensure your rights as a tenant are protected.