Eviction isn’t a decision. It’s a process.
You set your goals and expectations before you leased the property. You put the terms of the lease in writing and clearly communicated them to the tenant. Stick to those terms.
Maybe your tenant didn’t pay rent, kept unauthorized pets, or let unauthorized tenants live on the property. No matter the reason, an eviction is your way of saying, “You’ve breached the lease, and now I need to get back possession of my property.”
If you back off your rules, you’ll lose credibility. And if tenants realize you’re not following through, they’ll fight you when you do.
It’s always helpful to have a third party, like a property manager, between the owner and the tenant. That way you don’t get wrapped up in an unnecessary negotiation process. But if you’re already dealing with an eviction, we’ve answered the key questions about how evicting a tenant works in Texas.
Commonly Asked Questions About Evicting A Tenant in Texas
Should I Talk to the Tenant?
Make contact with the tenant before an eviction to explain the situation, but stick to the signed agreements. You want to be clear and communicate the process. However, never change or contradict what’s in writing. If you do, you’re subject to discrimination charges by handling one person’s situation differently from another person’s.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you have a written lease agreement, you don’t need an attorney for an eviction in Texas. As long as we have proof of the payment history (maybe checks or deposits into a bank account) and the signed lease, we’re comfortable handling evictions. If there’s not a lease in place, you’ll need an attorney.
What’s the Eviction Process?
If you need to evict a tenant, Texas law is pretty straightforward. Here’s how the tenant eviction process works.
1. Send a “Notice to Vacate”.
A notice to vacate is a strong-worded letter that informs the tenant:
- The rent is unpaid
- The rent is late
- What amount they owe
- The amounts are due in full within 3 days
- If this is unpaid, we will file an eviction at the courthouse
Send the notice via email or through certified mail. Use strong, direct wording to let the tenant know you’re serious.
2. File the Eviction
If they don’t pay in full with certified funds within 3 days, go to the courthouse to file the eviction with the court.
3. Constable Alerts the Tenants
The constable then posts notice on the property, letting them know they have a court date. The court date is scheduled within two weeks of the day they post notice.
4. Go to Court
Show up to court and win judgement. The judge will give the tenant five days to vacate the property.
5. File a Writ (If Necessary)
If the tenant doesn’t move out within those five days, file a writ. A writ gives us the right to come with the constable and a locksmith, gain access to the property, and remove everything inside. We put all the belongings in the front yard and change the locks.
For an uncontested eviction, it takes 34 days from the time you send the first certified letter to the time you have possession of the property. Other states have different procedures and time delays at certain times of the year. But in Texas, it’s straightforward as long as you follow legal procedure.
How Will a Property Manager Help With Evictions?
Evicting a tenant isn’t a pleasant experience. It’s not complicated, but it’s time consuming and depends on following the letter of the law. That’s why you want a property manager who’s dealt with evictions before and will handle everything.
The process is particular about paperwork, what to say in the notice, and how to send each notice. If you do it on your own, it could take hours. Plus, missing a detail could cause a problem that complicates the process. With an issue like eviction, it always helps to have an experienced property manager doing the work for you.
If you need help evicting a tenant from your rental property, contact us for more information.