Texas Eviction Process

Disclaimer – The information on this page is intended for general informational purposes only and not to provide legal advice.

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Have tenants that are not paying rent and refusing to leave? Unfortunately, we have been in the same situation. It would be helpful to put together a short guide regarding Texas Eviction Laws. Eviction Process in Texas can be simple, but you’re dealing with trouble tenants and legal procedures. The ease of the eviction process depends on the specific agreement you signed with the tenants. We hope this information will help you navigate through this situation with minimum loss.

It depends on the specific lease you have in place. Evictions can happen because of the non-payment of rent, but that's not the only reason landlords file for eviction. For instance:

  • Extra people living in the home

  • Having pets when not allowed

  • Smoking

  • Loud noise

  • Usage of illegal drugs

  • Disturbing neighbors

As per Texas Eviction Laws, if these things are not listed in the lease, then it's not a violation of the contract. You have to mention in the agreement regarding pet policy, smoking, and the number of people allowed. 

According to Texas Eviction Laws, you can't evict a tenant for violating anything that's not in the lease. Sure, it would be great if tenants would not bring pets in the house, but if you haven't mentioned that in the contract, you have no right to evict the tenant.

 

You cannot evict tenants for requesting repairs, reporting a complaint, or exercising their legal rights. You can't begin the eviction process in Texas for reasons that violate fair housing laws (ex. Race, religion, sex, disability).

Under Texas Eviction Laws (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.019), you must allow two days before you start charging the late-payment fee to your tenants. 

Most agreements have a grace period that enables the tenant to resolve their late payments. However, you can post an eviction notice as soon as one day after the rent was due and not paid. Carefully check your lease so that you know the exact agreed upon the day that rent is due.

 

There is no one standard form, but you can download a template that has been created by a competitive attorney. LegalZoom is a useful resource for finding such forms. You can also find some free documents as well, but there is no way to judge the validity of these documents.

If the tenant does not show up for the court date, the court will automatically rule in favor of the landlord. The tenant will then have 5 days to vacate or appeal the ruling. If they choose to appeal, they are still required to pay rent due within five days of the court ruling. 

As a landlord, you must give a tenant, a written notice, at least three days before filing a lawsuit. 3-Days Eviction Notices are required in Texas. You can deliver the eviction notice by registered mail, handed to someone in the household who is at least 16 years old, or taped to the inside of the main door. It can also be placed outside the door, but only if you mail a second copy to them on the same day.

Once the eviction notice is served, the tenant has 3 days to pay the rent or leave the property. Holidays and weekends are included in the three-day time-frame. The specific agreement will outline how much time your tenant has before they must leave the property.

Eviction process in Texas usually takes 30-40 days after the eviction notice is served. If anyone appeals, then this time can drag out longer. 

A tenant may use a bankruptcy claim as part of their defense. However, it's up to the judge to decide if the eviction is granted or not. 

Costs vary by county, but the total price can add up to about $200-$250 for court filing fees. The total does not include lawyer fees or appeals.

As the landlord, your first step is to deliver the three-day notice to vacate. You'll need to serve the three days eviction notice. Once three days have passed, you can file an eviction suit at the court in the precinct where the rental property is located.

 

When you file the suit, make sure to list all the tenants living there. Once this paperwork is filed, the county clerk will hand the case off to a constable. He will be the one to serve the tenant with a court summon. The summons will list the date and time that both the landlord and tenant must appear before the judge.

On your hearing date, make sure you bring all the evidence to support your case. Bring proof that an eviction notice was delivered (take a picture if you tape it to the inside of the door, send it via certified mail, have the person you gave it to sign acknowledging they received it, etc.). You'll also need a copy of the deed, lease, rent receipts, bank statements, and witnesses, complaints from other tenants, photos of any damage, and anything else to support your case. Make sure you bring extra copies, as you will need a copy for yourself, one for the judge, and one for the tenant.

Texas Eviction Law 30 Days

A tenant without a lease is considered to be on a "month to month" lease. Due to this, you wouldn't need to break a long term agreement. You would inform them in writing with 30 days' notice that you are not going to rent to them anymore. If they refuse to leave at the end of 30 days, then you will follow the same eviction process as listed above.

No, when you accept a partial payment, you are waiving the rest of the balance owed. You can still file for an eviction, but by taking a partial refund, you may be hurting your chances of receiving a ruling in your favor. Your best bet is not accepting any payment that is not the total rent amount, including any late fees.  

In Texas, it depends on the type of lease you have with your tenant. If your contract includes that upon notice of sale, the tenant loses their rights, then you can. Otherwise, the process becomes complicated.

If they have a month-to-month lease, then you can take advantage of eviction without cause. However, if you have a more extended contract, you must wait for the lease to expire before you can evict the tenant. 

Evictions can be very unpleasant, costly, and time-consuming. If you wish to be done with the property and move on, you can always sell to a cash buyer like us. To find out what we can pay for your property enter your address in the form at the bottom of the page, or give us a call today.