Consequences For Failure To Give Proper Notice When Ending A Lease In Texas

Ending your lease in Texas requires providing advance written notice to your landlord. But what happens if you fail to give the required 60 days notice before moving out? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain Texas laws on proper lease termination notice, penalties for not providing sufficient notice, how to handle security deposits, and steps to take if you need to break your lease early.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick overview: Texas law requires tenants to provide 60 days written notice to terminate a monthly lease, but the consequences for not giving full notice are limited. Your landlord can’t evict you but may deduct rent owed from your security deposit.

Texas Notice Requirements to End a Monthly Lease

When it comes to ending a monthly lease in Texas, there are specific notice requirements that tenants must adhere to. Failure to give proper notice can have consequences, including potential financial liabilities.

Therefore, it is important for tenants to understand the notice requirements to ensure a smooth and legal termination of their lease.

60 Days Written Notice is Required

Under Texas law, tenants are typically required to give their landlords a written notice at least 60 days before the termination date. This notice should clearly state the tenant’s intention to end the lease and provide the exact date on which they plan to move out.

It is crucial to give this notice within the specified timeframe as failure to do so can result in the tenant being held responsible for additional rent and other expenses.

It is worth noting that certain leases may have different notice requirements, so tenants should always review their lease agreement to ensure they are complying with any specific terms outlined within it.

Proper Delivery of Notice to the Landlord

When it comes to delivering the written notice to the landlord, there are a few different methods that tenants can use. The most common and recommended method is to send the notice via certified mail with return receipt requested.

This provides proof that the notice was sent and received by the landlord.

Alternatively, tenants may also choose to hand-deliver the notice to the landlord or their authorized agent. In this case, it is advisable to have a witness present and to request a written acknowledgment of receipt from the landlord.

It is important for tenants to keep a copy of the notice and any proof of delivery, as these documents may be needed in case of any disputes or legal proceedings.

For more information on Texas lease termination and notice requirements, tenants can refer to the Texas State Law Library’s website at

Penalties and Consequences for Failure to Give Full Notice

When it comes to ending a lease in Texas, failing to provide proper notice can have significant consequences for both landlords and tenants. Understanding the penalties involved can help ensure a smooth transition and avoid unnecessary legal complications.

Landlord Cannot Evict for Lack of Notice

One of the penalties for failing to give full notice when ending a lease in Texas is that the landlord cannot evict the tenant solely based on the lack of notice. According to Texas law, landlords must provide tenants with written notice to vacate the premises at least 30 days before the lease’s expiration date, or the full term of the lease if it is less than 30 days.

If the tenant fails to provide this notice, the landlord cannot use it as grounds for eviction.

However, it’s important to note that failing to give proper notice may still result in other penalties, such as the loss of security deposits or potential legal action by the landlord.

Tenant Owes Rent Through Full 60 Day Period

Another consequence of not giving full notice when ending a lease in Texas is that the tenant may be responsible for paying rent for the entire 60-day notice period, even if they have already vacated the property.

This means that even if the tenant moves out before the lease officially ends, they may still be required to pay rent for the remaining days specified in the notice.

This provision is in place to protect landlords from financial loss and to ensure that they have ample time to find a new tenant or make necessary arrangements for the property.

It’s worth mentioning that each lease agreement may have different notice requirements, so tenants should carefully review their lease before giving notice to avoid any misunderstandings or potential legal disputes.

Can the Landlord Withhold My Security Deposit?

One of the primary concerns for tenants when ending a lease is whether the landlord will withhold their security deposit. In Texas, landlords are allowed to deduct from the security deposit for certain reasons, but they must follow specific guidelines to do so.

Deductions for Unpaid Rent

If you have unpaid rent, the landlord has the right to deduct that amount from your security deposit. However, they must provide you with an itemized list of the deductions within 30 days of the lease termination date.

This list should include the amount deducted for unpaid rent and any other applicable charges.

It’s important to note that the landlord cannot withhold your entire security deposit for unpaid rent. They can only deduct the actual amount owed. If there are any remaining funds in your security deposit after deducting unpaid rent, the landlord must refund that amount to you.

Normal Security Deposit Refund Laws Still Apply

Aside from deductions for unpaid rent, the normal laws regarding security deposit refunds still apply in Texas. This means that the landlord is required to return your security deposit within 30 days of the lease termination date, unless they have a valid reason for withholding it.

If the landlord fails to return your security deposit within the given timeframe, you may be entitled to additional damages. In Texas, the law allows tenants to recover three times the amount wrongfully withheld, plus attorney’s fees.

To ensure a smooth return of your security deposit, it’s important to document the condition of the rental unit before moving out. Taking photos or videos of any existing damage can help protect you from unwarranted deductions.

For more information on Texas security deposit laws, you can visit the official website of the Texas State Law Library here.

How to Break a Lease Early With No Penalties

Breaking a lease early can have serious consequences, including financial penalties and damage to your rental history. However, there are certain situations where you may need to terminate your lease before the agreed-upon end date.

In Texas, there are a few options available to tenants who need to break their lease early without facing penalties.

Using the Early Termination Clause

One way to break a lease early without penalties is by utilizing the early termination clause, if your lease agreement includes one. This clause typically outlines the conditions under which you can end your lease early, such as job relocation or health issues.

It is important to review your lease agreement carefully to understand the terms and conditions of this clause.

If you meet the requirements outlined in the early termination clause, you will need to provide proper notice to your landlord. Generally, this notice must be given in writing and within a specified timeframe, such as 30 or 60 days before the intended move-out date.

Failure to give proper notice may result in penalties or additional fees.

Getting the Landlord’s Written Consent

Another option for breaking a lease early without penalties is by obtaining your landlord’s written consent. This means that you will need to have a conversation with your landlord and explain your situation. If they agree to let you break the lease early, make sure to get their consent in writing.

It’s important to note that your landlord is not obligated to grant your request, so it’s crucial to approach the conversation respectfully and provide any necessary documentation or evidence to support your case.

Having open communication and being honest about your circumstances can increase your chances of obtaining your landlord’s consent.

Terminating for Landlord’s Breach of Contract

If your landlord has failed to fulfill their obligations outlined in the lease agreement, such as repairing major damages or maintaining a safe living environment, you may have grounds to terminate the lease early without penalties.

However, it is recommended to consult with a legal professional or tenant advocacy group before taking this step.

Keep in mind that breaking a lease early without penalties is not guaranteed, and it is always best to try to come to a mutual agreement with your landlord. Additionally, understanding the Texas laws regarding lease termination can help protect your rights as a tenant.

For more information on lease termination in Texas, you can visit the Texas Apartment Association website or consult with a local attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law.

Next Steps if You Must Move Out Before 60 Days

Provide as Much Notice as Possible

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to move out before the 60-day notice period required by Texas law, it is important to communicate with your landlord as soon as possible. While the law does not specify the consequences for failing to give proper notice in this scenario, it is always best to maintain a good relationship with your landlord and try to work out a solution that is agreeable to both parties.

Explain your situation honestly and see if you can come to an arrangement that allows for an early termination of the lease.

Thoroughly Clean and Document the Unit Condition

When moving out before the 60-day notice period, it is crucial to leave the rental unit in the best possible condition. This includes cleaning the unit thoroughly and addressing any damages or repairs that may be required.

Taking photographs or videos of the unit’s condition before you leave can serve as evidence of its condition when you vacated, which may help protect you from any false claims made by the landlord regarding damages.

Return Keys and Provide New Address

Once you have moved out, make sure to return all keys and access cards to the landlord or property management company. Additionally, it is important to provide your new address to the landlord so that they can send any necessary correspondence or return your security deposit, if applicable.

This will help ensure that there are no further complications or misunderstandings after you have moved out.

Remember, while it is always advisable to give proper notice when ending a lease, unforeseen circumstances can sometimes make this difficult. By following these steps, you can minimize any potential negative consequences and maintain a positive relationship with your landlord.


While lack of full 60 days notice won’t lead to eviction in Texas, you still must pay all rent owed through the notice period. Carefully review your lease agreement and utilize early termination clauses when possible. With proper preparation, you can end your Texas lease smoothly and recover your full security deposit.

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