Eviction

One of the most important duties of a tenant is to comply with the tenancy rules imposed by the landlord. Failure to do so may lead to termination of the tenancy contract and eviction. As the property owner, you have legal rights to evict tenants for non-payment of rent or violation of the lease or rental agreement terms. Evictions allow landlords to remove unruly tenants, as well as those who don’t pay their rent on time.

Landlord-tenant laws may differ from state to state. Under Texas law, a landlord needs to legally terminate the tenancy agreement first before evicting a tenant. Before you start the eviction process, you need to give your tenant a written notice setting out the cause for the eviction and requiring them to leave the property within the period given by state law. In case the tenant refused to move out even after receiving the notice, then you will be forced to file an eviction lawsuit which is also known as forcible entry and detainer lawsuit. It is advisable to consult a competent Frisco landlord attorney to guide you throughout the eviction case.

As a landlord, it is important for you to know and understand the eviction process and the importance of termination notice. The article will discuss the following:

  1. What is an Eviction Notice?
  2. What to Include in an Eviction Notice?
  3. When to Serve a Notice for Termination With Cause?
  4. When to Serve an Eviction Notice Without Cause?
  5. What are the Defenses to Eviction That a Tenant Might Raise?
  6. How Do I Ask a Tenant to Move Out After an Eviction Suit?




What is an Eviction Notice?

An eviction notice starts the legal eviction process. When you serve an eviction notice (notice to vacate), you’re communicating to your tenant that they need to vacate the property by a given date. Without written notice and delivery, in compliance with state and local laws, a legal eviction cannot be initiated. Before you can start legal eviction proceedings, you must give your tenant proper notice in writing.  Every state has its laws when it comes to serving termination or eviction notices to tenants.




What to Include in an Eviction Notice

An eviction notice must be written clearly and concisely. The manner and format will depend on specific state laws and guidelines. This document also acts as a record of the fact that you gave your tenant sufficient notice of their pending eviction. It should include the following information:

  • Tenant names
  • Complete addresses
  • Status and date of the lease
  • Reason for serving a notice of eviction
  • Date tenant must vacate the premises
  • Proof of service or delivery of notice




When to Serve a Notice for Termination With Cause

An eviction notice with a cause can be served if the landlord has evidence that the tenant has violated the lease agreement in some way. The “notice to quit” is usually served after they’ve decided to move forward with a formal eviction. A termination notice comes in three types:

 

Pay Rent or Quit Notice

This type of termination notice is used by landlords when their tenants fail to pay the rent. Tenants are usually given three to five day-notices to pay the rent or quit (move out).

 

Cure or Quit Notice

When your tenant violates any of the rental or lease agreement terms, you may serve them with a cure or quit notice. In this case, a tenant is given a certain notice period to “cure”, fix the problem, or correct the violation. Failure to do so might lead to an eviction lawsuit.

 

Unconditional Quit Notices

This type of eviction notice is served without allowing tenant remediation. Tenants will not be allowed to pay the rent or to correct a rental or lease agreement violation. An unconditional or incurable notice can be served during the following situations:

  • Late rent payment on multiple occasions
  • Tenant’s violations of a significant lease or rental agreement terms
  • Tenant engaged in serious illegal activity on the premises (drug dealing or violating zoning agreements)
  • Severe property damage caused by the tenant




When to Serve an Eviction Notice Without Cause

When a landlord is asking the tenant to move out of the property without any specific cause or fault, an eviction notice without cause can be served. Generally, a 30-day or 60-day notice to terminate a tenancy is required in most states when the landlord does not have a reason to end the tenancy.

The rules for terminating a tenancy without cause may differ depending on whether the tenancy is month-to-month (pursuant to a rental agreement) or for a fixed term (pursuant to a lease).

If you want to end the tenancy of your tenant who has a month-to-month rental agreement, the amount of notice required depends on how often the tenant pays rent. In contrast, a landlord cannot end a fixed-term tenancy early without cause—a lease guarantees tenants the right to stay at the property for the duration of the time stated. When landlords wish to have renters with a lease move out without having cause (such as a failure to pay your rent), they must wait until the term ends.




What are the Defenses to Eviction That a Tenant Might Raise?

Depending on the circumstances, tenants might have several reasons why they shouldn’t be evicted. One of the most common defenses is that the landlord did not follow all the rules when terminating the tenancy. This is why landlords have to be very careful with the eviction process. A tenant or renter can point to mistakes in the eviction notice, improper delivery, or an attempt to delay or dismiss the case. A reliable Frisco landlord attorney can provide legal assistance in preparing against the possible defenses of tenants. It is important to ensure that you know and do your responsibilities as a landlord to avoid any legal action that can be taken against you.




How Do I Ask a Tenant to Move Out After an Eviction Suit?

The only legal way to remove a tenant from a rental unit in Texas is for a landlord to win an eviction lawsuit (forcible entry and detainer suit) in court. Even after winnin