The Texas eviction process can be an emotionally and financially draining experience for both landlords and tenants alike. In Texas, the laws surrounding evictions are complex, and if those involved in the process aren’t aware of the legal requirements, it can quickly become a situation that is out of control.
To help both you and your tenant, it’s essential to know and understand the eviction laws in Texas, from written notice to the court proceeding. This article will outline the legal requirements for landlords and tenants throughout eviction so that each party knows their rights and obligations before entering into a lease arrangement or facing eviction.
How Long is the Eviction Process in Texas?
The eviction process in Texas begins with a landlord serving the tenant with a written notice. This can be done by delivering it to the tenant in person, posting it on their front door, or sending it via certified mail with the return receipt requested.
The notice will detail why the landlord is ending the tenancy and how long the tenant has to move out – usually between three and 30 days depending on the reason for eviction.
Serving an Eviction Notice in Texas With Legal Cause
A Texas landlord can evict a tenant for various reasons. Such reasons include:
- Refusal to pay rent
- Property damage
- Violation of the terms of the lease agreement
- “Holdover” tenant
- Illegal use of the property
- Illegal drug manufacturing
- Causing significant disturbance to other neighbors and tenants
There are three types of eviction notices that apply according to the reason for the termination.
Non-payment of Rent Eviction in Texas
Texas eviction laws state that if a tenant has failed to make the full rental payment after receiving a written notice to pay rent (also known as a demand letter) then the landlord is entitled to give them an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.
This type of legal document should include the amount of rent due and specify how long tenants have to pay it before being evicted from the premises. The notice must also inform the tenants of their right to an eviction hearing before the eviction is carried out.
This type of eviction notice typically gives tenants three days to come up with the full rental payment or vacate the premises.
End of or No Lease Evictions in Texas
If a tenant’s lease has ended and they have not renewed it, the landlord may choose to serve them with an eviction notice. This type of document is also used when tenants are occupying a rental property without a lease agreement in place. The notice should state the amount of time they have to vacate the premises, which is usually 1 month or less.
Lease Violation Eviction Notice in Texas
Landlords may also issue an eviction notice for lease violations. This type of document should include the exact details about the violation and specify how much time tenants have to remedy it or vacate the premises.
The notice must also inform them of their right to a hearing before an eviction is carried out. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, landlords may give tenants anywhere from 3 days to 1 month to correct the issue.
If a tenant fails to comply with an eviction notice in Texas, landlords may proceed with the eviction without a hearing.
Serving a Tenant With a Texas Eviction Notice
Should a landlord serve a notice without a cause, the process for terminating a lease depends on the length of the tenancy. If it’s a monthly lease, Texas eviction law requires you to give the tenant at least 3-day notice to end their tenancy.
If the lease term is set, landlords must wait until the term is over before ending the tenancy. Both notices must inform the renter that you won’t be renewing their lease for another term.
Tenant Eviction Defenses in Texas
A tenant may claim in defense that:
- The landlord waited far too long to file the evcition lawsuit against them
- The landlord refused to take rent
- The monthly rent the landlord requested isn’t as stated in the lease agreement
- The landlord overcharged the rent
- The rental property wasn’t habitable
Attending the Court Hearing
At the hearing, the judge will hear arguments from both sides and review all evidence presented by each party. The tenant has a right to present their side of the story and any defenses they may have. You can also present evidence, such as lease agreements and other relevant documents.
Once the court has heard both sides of the story, they will decide whether the eviction is warranted. If they find that eviction is justified, an order of possession will be issued to the landlord so they can take back their property. The tenant may also be ordered to pay for court costs and damages.
Both the tenant and the landlord need to attend either the district or small claims court hearing. If either party fails to show up, the judge may issue a default judgment in favor of the side that was present.
The landlord should also bring documents or other evidence to prove their eviction case. Renters should also bring evidence to support their defense against eviction. Attending the court hearing is essential in an eviction, and both parties should take it seriously.
Writ of Restitution
How long can a tenant stay after eviction? Once a court orders the eviction, the tenant has a legally mandated grace period of five days or more to vacate the property. During this period, you must not attempt to remove the tenant from the premises forcibly – any attempts to do so will be considered illegal and could lead to serious legal consequences.
After five days, you may seek to file a Writ of Restitution with the court. This document will allow law enforcement officers to legally remove any remaining renters from your property and regain possession. To do so, you must present proof that all eviction notices have been properly served and that the tenant has not vacated within the prescribed period.
The tenant should be aware that failure to leave the property within the given time can result in a forcible eviction, which is done with the help of law enforcement. An evicted tenant is also responsible for any damages during the eviction, including attorney fees and eviction hearing costs.
It is important to note that Texas has strict laws governing landlords and renters, and legal advice should be sought if either party is unsure of their rights and responsibilities.
We hope this article has helped you better understand the Texas eviction process and how to evict a tenant. It is crucial for a landlord to be adept at these laws in order to avoid complicated situations, strained landlord-tenant relationships, and unexpected costs. You can read here for more information regarding landlord-tenant laws and security deposit law.
If you have specific questions regarding the eviction process in Texas, please contact the experts at Keyrenter McAllen and we will be happy to help you.
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in Texas. Laws frequently change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regard to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.