Landlords in Texas must adhere to new requirements when providing tenants notice to vacate prior to filing an eviction suit. The new requirements, which went into effect January 1, 2016, apply only to residential lease agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2016. The primary methods by which a landlord may properly give notice under Section 24.005(f) of the Texas Property Code remain unchanged. A landlord may:
- Provide notice in person by personal delivery to the tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years of age or older;
- Provide notice in person by personal delivery to the premises and affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door; or
- Provide notice by regular mail, registered mail, or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the premises in question.
A landlord may use an alternative method to provide notice 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 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.
In such case, the landlord may deliver notice to vacate by securely affixing to the outside of the main entry door a sealed envelope that contains the notice and on which is written the tenant’s name, address, and in all capital letters, the words “IMPORTANT DOCUMENT” or substantially similar language. Additionally, the landlord must deposit a copy of the notice to the tenant in the mail in the same county in which the premises in question is located, by 5 p.m. on the same day the notice is affixed to the tenant’s door. This alternative method for providing notice contains new, additional requirements, meaning a landlord can no longer provide notice by merely affixing the notice to the outside of the main entry door.
The amendment to Section 24.005 also clarifies that notice to vacate under this alternative method is considered delivered on the date the envelope is affixed to the outside of the door and deposited in the mail, regardless of when the notice is received by the tenant.