Navigating eviction court in Texas can be a challenging process for landlords, but understanding the steps involved can help you manage it effectively. Whether you’re dealing with a tenant who has failed to pay rent or violated the lease agreement, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the eviction process.

Legal Reasons for Eviction From Rental Property in Texas

Understanding the legal reasons for eviction can help you navigate the process more smoothly. As a landlord, it’s important to know when and why you can legally evict a tenant to ensure you’re following the proper procedures.

Non-Payment of Rent

One of the most common reasons for eviction is non-payment of rent. If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, you can start the eviction process. The first step is to provide a written notice to the tenant, giving them a specific timeframe to pay the overdue rent or vacate the property.

If the tenant does not comply, you can file an eviction lawsuit in the Justice Court.

Violation of Lease Agreement

When a tenant violates the terms of the lease agreement, such as keeping unauthorized pets, causing property damage, or subletting without permission, you have grounds for eviction. Similar to non-payment cases, you must give the tenant a written notice specifying the violation and allowing them time to correct it.

If the tenant fails to comply, you may proceed with filing an eviction case.

Holding Over After Lease Term Ends

If a tenant remains in the rental property after the lease term has ended without your consent, you can evict them. This situation, known as holding over, requires you to provide the tenant with a notice to vacate.

If the tenant does not leave, you can file for eviction in court.

Criminal Activity

Engaging in illegal activities on the rental property is another valid reason for eviction. If you have evidence that a tenant is involved in criminal behavior, you can terminate the lease and seek eviction.

It’s crucial to document any incidents and provide a written notice to the tenant before filing an eviction case.

Health and Safety Violations

If a tenant’s actions create health and safety hazards, you can evict them. This includes situations where a tenant damages the property in ways that pose a risk to others or engages in behavior that endangers the health and safety of other tenants.

As always, a written notice is required before proceeding with an eviction lawsuit.

Retaliatory Evictions Are Prohibited

While you have the right to evict tenants for legitimate reasons, retaliatory evictions are illegal. This means you cannot evict a tenant for exercising their legal rights, such as filing a complaint about unsafe living conditions or requesting necessary repairs.

If a tenant believes they are facing a retaliatory eviction, they can seek legal help to protect their rights.

Procedures and Court Rules

When you decide to evict a tenant, it’s essential to follow the proper procedures and court rules. After providing the necessary written notice and waiting the required timeframe, you can file an eviction case in the Justice Court of the precinct where your rental property is located.

The court will schedule a hearing where both you and the tenant can present your evidence.

Summing Up

Understanding the legal reasons for eviction in Texas is crucial for landlords. By following the correct procedures and ensuring you have legitimate grounds for eviction, you can protect your property and avoid legal complications. Remember to provide written notice, document all violations, and comply with court rules throughout the eviction process.

If you need assistance, consider consulting with an experienced real estate and eviction attorney to guide you through the legal requirements and help you successfully navigate eviction court.

The Eviction Process

Step 1: Provide Written Notice

Before you can file an eviction lawsuit, you must first give your tenant a written notice. This notice informs the tenant of your intent to evict and provides a specific timeframe to either pay rent or vacate the property.

The notice period can vary, so it’s essential to check the lease agreement and Texas Property Code for specifics.

Step 2: File the Eviction Case

If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the next step is to file an eviction case in the Justice Court of the precinct where your rental property is located. This is done by submitting a complaint to the court, along with any required fees.

Be sure to include all relevant documents, such as the lease agreement and records of unpaid rent.

Step 3: Prepare for the Eviction Hearing

Once your case is filed, the court will schedule an eviction hearing. This is your opportunity to present your case, so it’s crucial to come prepared.

Gather all necessary documents, such as:

  • The lease agreement
  • Written notice provided to the tenant
  • Records of past-due rent
  • Any communication with the tenant regarding the eviction

Consider working with a knowledgeable real estate attorney with experience in eviction court. They understand how the law works and what the court will consider when making a final decision.

Step 4: Attend the Eviction Hearing

During the hearing, you’ll present your evidence to the judge. The tenant will also have a chance to present their side. It’s important to dress appropriately, be respectful, and clearly state your case.

The judge will review the evidence from both parties before making a decision.

Step 5: Obtain a Court Order

If the court finds in your favor, you will receive a court order for possession of the property. This order allows you to legally evict the tenant.

If the tenant still does not vacate, you may need to request a writ of possession from the court, which authorizes the constable or sheriff to remove the tenant.

Step 6: Collecting Unpaid Rent

In addition to regaining possession of your property, you can also seek to recover unpaid rent through the eviction case if the amount due is not more than $20,000.

Keep in mind that collecting back rent may require additional steps, such as garnishing wages or placing a lien on the tenant’s assets.

Additional Tips for Landlords

  • Document Everything: Keep meticulous records of rent payments, communication with tenants, and any incidents that may violate the lease.
  • Know the Law: Familiarize yourself with the Texas Property Code, Chapters 24, 91, 92, 93, and 94, as well as the Texas Rules of Practice in Justice Courts.
  • Seek Legal Assistance: If you’re unsure about any part of the eviction process, consider consulting with an attorney who can provide guidance and represent you in court.
  • Avoid Retaliatory Evictions: Be aware that evictions perceived as retaliation against tenants for exercising their legal rights can lead to additional legal complications.

By understanding the eviction process and preparing thoroughly, you can protect your investment and ensure a smoother resolution to rental disputes. Remember, each case is unique, so it’s important to approach each situation with careful consideration and a thorough understanding of the legal requirements.

At Jarrett Law, We Understand Your Challenges

As a property owner, dealing with tenants who fail to pay rent or violate the lease agreement can be stressful.

You want to protect your investment and ensure a smooth eviction process. At Jarrett Law, we are here to guide you every step of the way.

Experienced Guidance Through Eviction Cases

Eviction cases require strict adherence to court rules and procedures. We help you navigate the complexities of filing an eviction lawsuit, from preparing the written notice to representing you in court.

Our team ensures that all necessary documents, such as the lease agreement and records of past due rent, are in order and properly filed.

Assistance with Court Eviction Process

Facing eviction proceedings can be overwhelming. Our experienced attorneys provide comprehensive support, including filing your case in the appropriate district court, handling communication with the opposing party, and preparing for the court hearing.

We work diligently to ensure your case is presented effectively to the judge.

Handling All Aspects of the Eviction Process

From sending certified mail to submitting evidence of unpaid rent and lease violations, we manage all aspects of the eviction process. If a tenant fails to comply with a written notice, we promptly file the necessary paperwork with the clerk’s office and arrange for a trial date.

Our goal is to secure a favorable judgment for you while minimizing court costs and delays.

Legal Help and Representation

Whether you are dealing with a pay rent case or a situation involving tenant rights, our team provides the legal help you need. We offer advice on setting up a rent escrow account, managing accounting records, and handling payments like money orders and certified checks.

We also address issues related to security deposits and rental agreements to ensure compliance with Texas law.

Preventing and Managing Retaliatory Evictions

Retaliatory evictions can lead to legal complications and disputes. We help you avoid eviction claims that may be seen as retaliatory by providing clear documentation and following all legal requirements. Our attorneys are well-versed in tenant rights and can guide you on how to handle sensitive situations.

Personalized Support for Landlords

Every eviction case is unique. At Jarrett Law, we tailor our services to meet your specific needs. Whether you need help with a tenant facing eviction in Baltimore City or advice on dealing with housing discrimination claims, we offer personalized support. We strive to help you resolve disputes efficiently and protect your property.

Contact Us Today

If you’re a landlord dealing with difficult tenants or facing eviction challenges, contact Jarrett Law. We are here to provide the legal assistance you need to navigate the eviction process successfully. Let us help you protect your investment and achieve a positive outcome in your eviction case.

By partnering with Jarrett Law, you can confidently manage your rental property and address any legal issues that arise. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can assist you.