One of the keys to success with owning a portfolio of profitable Texas Rental Properties is understanding property management laws in Texas, especially the evictions process because, if you don’t understand the laws you could face penalties and a lawsuit.
In this article we will share with you more information about the Texas evictions process so you know what to expect if you face the prospect of having to evict a tenant.
FILING AN EVICTION IN TEXAS
Evictions in Texas MUST be filed in the county and precinct where the property is located. Complete the “Eviction form for Texas” and have it notarized or sign it in front of one of the Court Clerks. Bring a copy of your “Notice to Vacate” along with the eviction form and any copies that you would like to have for your own records. You’ll be given a court date when you file your eviction with the Texas Court.
Find an Eviction Lawyer in Texas
Summary of Four Basic steps in the Texas Eviction process
- The notice to vacate
- Filing the Suit
- Going to Court
- Writ of Possession
- NOTICE TO VACATE
If a landlord alleges a tenant is not paying rent, the Landlord is required by law in Texas to give the tenant written notice to vacate the premises. This notice can be delivered to the tenant personally with a witness, by certified mail (return receipt requested) or by any other method allowed by law. Unless your lease specifically states otherwise, the law requires you to deliver the written notice, and then wait three days before filing your suit in Justice Court. This is a legal requirement which must be met and cannot be overlooked.
- FILING THE SUIT (EVICTION)
You must file an original petition with the Court and pay court costs of $72 (subject to change). These court costs pay for filing your suit, your court hearing, and for the Constable to serve the citation. The citation is the notice to the tenant that you are attempting to evict him.
- GO TO COURT (Both Landlord and Tenant)
LANDLORD: You must go to Court and prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. Simply filing a suit does not necessarily mean you will win your suit. You should bring all documents and other evidence with you to Court in a well-organized fashion. At the hearing, you will have to present evidence to show that you are entitled to possession of the premises.
TENANT: If you wish to defend your position and not be evicted, you must go to court. If you fail to appear, a default judgment will most likely be awarded to the Landlord. If you need a lawyer, contact a local Legal Aide Group in Texas. Check with your local court or on this web site.
- WRIT OF POSSESSION
If you have won your suit in Court, and the mandatory five day appeal period has passed, and the other party is still in the premises, you can file a Writ of Possession in Court. A Writ of Possession is a Court order to the Constable to place you in possession of the property. The Writ of Possession will cost you an additional $155 (subject to change), and may be requested at the JP office where the judgment is. The Constable of your particular Precinct can answer your questions about this Writ.
How long does it take to evict someone in Texas?
From start to finish approximately three weeks.
- 3 days from notice to vacate to filing of suit
- 8-10 days to serve the citation- The law requires the defendant have six days’ notice before the hearing.
- 5 days to appeal the suit following the hearing required by law.
- 2 days- The Constable is required by law to post a 24 hour vacate notice on the Writ of Possession
- 20-23 days is the minimum amount of time to evict someone in any County in Texas. NOTE: that any eviction suit is subject to appeal to the County Courts-at-Law.
Is there a faster way to evict someone? There is a remedy that can shorten the time period from 23 days to ten days if you prevail in Court. This is known as a Bond for Immediate Possession and includes a Notice to Defendant of the Bond for Immediate Possession. By filing a bond for immediate possession, the eviction process could be shortened provided the defendant does not request a trial or post a counter bond.
Learn More about the Texas Evictions Process
To learn more about the Texas Evictions Process, or to speak with us about our property management service, contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online.