Texas 3-Day Notice to Vacate for Non-Payment of Rent

Last Updated: February 13, 2023.

About this Form Set

This set of forms includes a legally compliant three-day notice to vacate for non-payment of rent, along with a matching envelope that features the required language in the correct format for the exterior, and a set of instructions. The document set has been professionally created to adhere to the specifications outlined in Texas Property Code § 24.005. This notice serves as the initial step in the eviction process and demands that the tenant vacate the premises within three (3) days of receiving the notice. The form letter is a standard, editable Microsoft Word document that can be easily customized to fit your particular needs, and it can be downloaded along with the envelope instantly after purchase.
Timing of the Notice

In Texas, landlords can give a tenant an eviction notice, also known as a "Notice to Vacate," the day after rent is due for non-payment, unless the terms of the lease specify a longer period. Rent must be paid on the due date, typically the first day of the month, regardless of weekends or holidays. If rent is paid the following day, it is considered late, and the landlord can initiate eviction proceedings. The terms of the lease may impact when eviction proceedings can start. For example, if the lease permits rent to be paid the next business day if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, and the rent is paid two business days after the due date, the landlord can serve the Notice to Vacate on that same day. Landlords must wait at least one day before imposing late fees on tenants under Texas law.

Essential Elements

Before a landlord can file for eviction, the landlord must provide the tenant with a notice to vacate that complies with Texas law. This notice must be in writing and contain the following six (6) elements:

  1. The date on which the notice was served.
  2. The tenant’s (tenants’) full name(s) as stated on the lease and the rental property address.
  3. The reason for the notice, such as the non-payment of rent.
  4. A statement indicating that the tenant has three days to vacate the property and specifying the exact date and time by which they must leave.
  5. A warning that the landlord may take legal action if the tenant fails to vacate.
  6. Information on how the notice was served to the tenant (refer to the specified method).
If the Notice to Vacate lacks this essential information, it is invalid, and a new notice must be served to the tenant with all the required information included.

If you want the tenant to pay rent, the notice must state that they have three days to either pay or vacate. The landlord can give the tenant the option to either pay the unpaid rent or leave the property within three days, rather than just giving them a notice to vacate without any further options. This gives the landlord the flexibility to determine the best course of action in addressing the tenant's non-payment of rent. If the tenant fails to vacate or pay the rent within the three (3) days, the landlord may then file a suit for eviction with the Justice Court of Texas.

Serving the Notice

  1. Delivery in person: The Notice to Vacate must be delivered in person to the tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years or older. If the tenant is unavailable, the notice can be affixed to the inside of the main entry door.
  2. Delivery by mail: The Notice to Vacate can also be sent via regular mail, registered mail, or certified mail with a return receipt requested to the premises in question.
  3. Alternative delivery method: As an alternative to the above methods, the Notice to Vacate can be delivered by affixing a sealed envelope containing the notice to the outside of the main entry door. The envelope must have the tenant's name, address, and the words "IMPORTANT DOCUMENT" or similar language written on it. The landlord must also deposit a copy of the notice in the mail on the same day, by 5:00 PM, in the same county where the premises is located. This alternative method is only allowed if (a) the premises has no mailbox and access is restricted by a keyless bolting device, alarm system, or dangerous animal; or (b) the landlord reasonably believes that harm to any person would result from personal delivery or delivery by affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door.
  4. Delivery date: The Notice to Vacate is considered delivered on the date the envelope is affixed to the outside of the door and deposited in the mail, regardless of the date the notice is received.

Eviction Suit and Hearing

Once the eviction suit has been filed, the tenant will be served with a citation, informing them of the court hearing date and time. The tenant will have the opportunity to contest the eviction by appearing in court and presenting a defense.

Writ of Possession

If the court finds in favor of the landlord, a writ of possession will be issued, allowing the landlord to have the tenant removed from the property. It is important to note that a landlord must wait for a writ of possession before physically removing the tenant or their belongings from the property.

Compliance with the Law

Landlords must understand and comply with the notice and eviction procedures as outlined in the Texas Property Code, as failure to do so could result in civil penalties and even criminal charges.