Eviction Process in Texas
The eviction process in Texas begins with a notice given to the tenant. The most common reason is for nonpayment of rent and this notice is called a notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent which gives the tenant five days to pay the rent or vacate the property.
The eviction notice you receive from your landlord is controlled by your state landlord tenant laws rather than your residential lease agreement. This is also true for the eviction process. While your rental agreement form states when your lease begins and ends, it doesn’t usually contain information about eviction notice processes. Rental laws derive from the landlord tenant rules (state statutes) Eviction procedures vary widely around the country, just like eviction rules. All the names at the bottom of the page are various names for eviction notices or lease ending notices. However, they are used to accomplish different purposes. For this reason, it is crucial to examine the notice you get from your landlord carefully. Ask yourself “What is it that the landlord is trying to accomplish with this notice? What is it that I am supposed to do?”
Eviction Process in Texas
At the expiration of the notice time, the landlord files in JP Court for the eviction. The clerk will have copies of the form that the landlord fills out. The landlord has to file a copy of the lease agreement and the notice to vacate with the form. Service of the eviction complaint is given to the tenant by the constable. After it has been served, the tenant has six days to respond to it. If the tenant does not respond, the landlord is able to obtain a default judgment against the tenant. If the tenant does respond, a hearing date is established shortly thereafter.
At the hearing, each side is allowed to present their information to the judge. The landlord presents their information and is able to be cross examined by the tenant. The tenant presents their information and is then able to be cross examined by the landlord. Each side should bring copies of all paperwork with them including the lease, the notice, rent receipts, and any paperwork or witnesses that would help them prove their case to the judge. If the rent is unpaid there usually is no legal reason why the tenant would be able to stay in the unit. The judge will then render their decision. If the tenant wins, they are allowed to stay in the unit. If the landlord wins, the tenant is given five days to appeal or to move out. If the tenant appeals they have to pay a bond equal to the amount of the unpaid rent.
Once the five days have passed, the landlord is able to obtain a writ of possession from the JP Court. The writ of possession allows the constable to evict the tenant. The landlord and constable set an appointment to go to the property and remove the tenants remaining possessions to the street.
Most states require that evictions occur for only a few reasons that are defined in the state’s Landlord-Tenant statutes. You can download the statutes for your state from this website. The book “How to Stop an Eviction” has chapters on contents of notices and types of notices. If the notice you receive does not contain the correct information, you can get your eviction action cancelled. To obtain those chapters go here.
How the notice is served on you is very important. States have different notice requirements, defined by the state statutes. You can download your state statutes from this website. If the notice was given to you improperly, you can get your eviction action cancelled. The book “How to Stop an Eviction” has a chapter on serving the notice so you can see if you were served properly. To obtain the chapter, go here.
After the notice period, the landlord summons the tenant to court. The summons must meet state standards for content and timing. The state standards can be downloaded from this website. The book “How to Stop an Eviction” has a chapter on contents of the summons so you can verify that the summons contained the correct information. If it does not, you may be able to get the eviction dismissed. To get access to that information, go here.
How the summons is served is important in the tenant’s defense. Many states require that the summons notice be served by someone other than the landlord. The service is often done improperly. In the book “How to Stop an Eviction” there is a section on contesting service of the summons. To get that information, go here.
It is also important that the tenant respond properly to the summons with the correct information to use at trial. There is an extensive chapter in the book “How to Stop an Eviction” showing the tenant how and where to research to determine problems with the landlord’s position. The response to the summons is where that research is entered. The chapter contains over 200 defenses to the eviction. To get access to the information, go here.
In the book “How to Stop an Eviction” there are two chapters relating to the trial. One chapter focusses on preparing for the trial, organizing the information and preparing it to be summarized and presented quickly. The other chapter is on trial strategy. Knowing what information to bring up and when is crucial to the tenant winning. To get access to that information, go here.
If the tenant loses at trial, there are still an additional 9 ways to either win or stall the eviction, sometimes for months. To get access to that information, go here.
Other Useful Information Below
1) Types of tenancies
The notices that you get from your landlord are based on the type of tenant you are. The landlord is required to know what type of tenant you are and to give you the proper notice. If they give you the wrong type of notice, you can often get your eviction action dismissed. To figure out which type of tenant you are, click on this type of tenancy for a quick analysis.
2) Bad mistakes that landlords make that can get them sued.
Click on the links below to see a quick summary of the problem
Health and safety Violations
Violations of Quiet Enjoyment
Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices
3) Getting the laws of your state
This summary information is provided with the understanding that it is subject to errors, omissions and misstatements. State laws are updated frequently and the most up to the minute information is contained in your state’s statutes.
It is important that you obtain the laws of your state and completely review them. We have a link on this website for you to obtain your state’s laws. To get your state’s laws, click here.
See paragraph above for context of the notices below. The paragraph begins “The eviction Notice”.
Letter of Eviction Notice
3 Day Notice to Quit
Landlord 30 Day Notice
3 Day Eviction
30 Day Eviction
3 day Eviction Notice
3 Day Notice of Eviction
Tenant Notice to Vacate
Notice to Tenant to Vacate
End Tenancy Letter
30 day Notice of Eviction
Notice to Vacate letter
3 Day Notice to Vacate
Notice to Tenants
Letter of Eviction
30 Day Notice to Vacate
Lease termination letter
Notice to Evict letter
Notice to Vacate
Notice For Eviction
Notice to End Lease
For the eviction process in other states, click the link below