Landlords of Residential Properties Must Follow Strict Notice Rules

In 2016, the Texas legislature changed the rules for Landlords when posting a notice to vacate prior to filing an eviction suit against a residential tenant. Landlords posting a notice to vacate on the OUTSIDE of a Tenant’s door under the alternative notice provisions of new Texas Property Code Section 24.005(f-1) must meet specific format requirements.

Section 24.005(f) of the Texas Property Code provides that a Landlord must deliver a notice to vacate personally to the Tenant or to someone 16 or older residing at the premises. If the Landlord can’t accomplish service by this direct delivery, he may post a notice on the INSIDE of the main entry door. He may also mail the notice by regular mail, registered mail or certified mail, return receipt requested.

Section 24.005(f-1) gives an alternative method to provide notice under certain circumstances. If “(1) the premises has no mailbox and has a keyless bolting device, alarm system, or dangerous animal that prevents the landlord from entering the premises to affix the notice to vacate to the inside of the main entry door; or(2) the landlord reasonably believes that harm to any person would result from personal delivery to the tenant or a person residing at the premises or from personal delivery to the premises by affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door,” then the Landlord may affix a notice to the OUTSIDE of the main entry door to the premises.

The notice MUST meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be in a sealed envelope
  2. Tenant’s name and address must be written on the envelope
  3. The words “IMPORTANT DOCUMENT” or substantially similar language must be written on the envelope in all capital letters
  4. The Landlord must deposit a copy of the notice in the mail to the Tenant in the same county in which the premises is located by 5 p.m. on the same day the notice is affixed to the Tenant’s door

The notice to vacate under this Section (f-1) is considered delivered on the date the envelope is affixed to the outside of the door and is deposited in the mail, regardless of the date the notice is received (Texas Property Code Section (f-2)). Section (f-1) is applicable to residential leases entered into on or after January 1, 2016.

A prudent Landlord will carefully follow the rules set forth in the Texas Property Code regarding giving a Tenant notice to vacate prior to filing an eviction suit or risk dismissal of his eviction action in justice court.

Please contact LKC attorney Katy Callahan at 832-764-2222 for any residential or commercial lease assistance.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice.

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