Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Texas and understand their responsibilities.
Quick Facts for Texas
- Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, lease term violations & illegal behavior
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 3-Day Notice to Vacate
- Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Quit for monthly tenants; no notice required for fixed-term tenants, but landlord must wait for term to end
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 3-day Notice to Quit
- Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 3 days, via Notice to Quit
- Duration for Tenant to Appeal Eviction Ruling: 5 days
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Texas?
Although it is always difficult to provide a simple answer to the question of how long it will take to evict a tenant, the answer is somewhat simplified in the state of Texas. Generally, a landlord will need to provide a 3-Day Notice to Vacate before proceeding this the eviction process. When dealing with a month-to-month “at-will” tenant without cause, the landlord will need to provide a 30-Day Notice to Vacate.
Once a Notice to Vacate has expired, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer Suit with the court.
In the state or Texas the type of tenant being evicted and the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process will be the best predictors of how long this process will take.
Reasons for Eviction in Texas
The state of Texas has established a list of legitimate reasons that a landlord may seek to evict a tenant. This list includes:
- Failure to pay rent (T.P.C. 24.005)
- Violation of the terms of the lease or rental agreement (T.P.C. 24.005)
- Illegal activity on the rental property
- Threatening or unsafe behavior toward other tenants
In most instances, the landlord will need to provide the tenant with a written 3-Day Notice to Quit. The notice may be provided to the tenant by personal delivery, left with any household member over the age of 16, posted at the rental property, or mailed to the tenant.
Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent
When a tenant fails to pay rent when it is due in the state of Texas, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a written 3-Day Notice to Vacate before he/she may proceed with the eviction process. If the tenant fails to pay outstanding rent but remains on the rental property beyond the three days allowed, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer Suit with the court.
Eviction if Rent has Been Paid
If a Texas landlord is renting to an “at-will” tenant, he/she may seek an eviction without cause.
Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease
In the state of Texas, a landlord is not required to provide his/her tenant with the opportunity to remedy a lease violation. He/she must, however, provide the tenant with a written 3-day Notice to Quit before proceeding with the eviction process.
Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior
As with other violations to terms of the lease or rental agreement, a landlord is required to provide a tenant with a written 3-Day Notice to Quit when the tenant has participated in illegal activity on the property before he/she can proceed with the eviction process.
How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant in Texas When There is no Lease?
When a tenant is renting without the benefit of a written lease, he/she is considered an “at-will” tenant, and may be evicted from a rental property without cause. To evict an “at-will” tenant, a landlord must wait until the term of the rental has ended if the property is rented for a fixed term (T.C.A. 24.0051). Once the term is completed, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process without informing the tenant of his/her intention. If the “at-will” tenant is renting on a month-to-month basis, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written 30-Day Notice to Quit before proceeding with the eviction process (T.P.C. 91.001). If the tenant remains on the property after the 30 days allowed, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
When Can a Tenant in Texas Not Be Evicted?
In the state of Texas it is illegal for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant for requesting repairs to the property, for filing a complaint with the appropriate governing agency, or for exercising his/her rights. It is also illegal for a landlord to seek to evict a tenant based on race, religion, gender, nation or origin, familial status, or disability status.
Once a Notice Has Expired
The landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Entry and Detainer Suit with the court. The tenant must be provided with copies of the suit and information regarding the time and date of the court hearing. If the tenant fails to appear at the court hearing, the court will rule in favor of the landlord.
Once Eviction Occurs
If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be given five days to vacate the property or appeal the court decision. If the tenant remains of the property beyond these five days without filing an appeal, the landlord may ask the court for a Writ of Possession. This writ allows the landlord to seek the support of law enforcement to physically remove the tenant.
Make sure to read the Texas Property Code Ann. §§ 24.005 & 91.001 before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.