In the property management space, evictions can sometimes be an unfortunate necessity. While it may seem daunting, landlords and property managers in Texas can conduct the eviction process themselves without the need for expensive legal assistance. Here, we outline a simple 13-step guide to a do-it-yourself legal tenant eviction in the state of Texas, empowering you with the knowledge to safeguard your investment efficiently and legally.
13 Simple Steps to a DIY Legal Tenant Eviction
1. Issue a Notice to Vacate
Identify the tenant's failure to pay rent and initiate the process by completing a “Notice to Vacate” form. Send it through regular or certified mail. Hand delivery or placing it inside their front door are also acceptable methods. Avoid posting it on the exterior of their door to avoid legal complications.
2. Await Tenant Response
Grant the tenant a period of 4 days (for mailed notices) or 1 day (for hand-delivered notices) to settle the overdue rent or vacate the property. If there is no compliance, prepare to file a formal eviction petition.
3. Determine Your Precinct
Use the tool on the Texas courts' website to find the precinct your property falls under. Next, visit your county’s Justice of the Peace website and choose the appropriate precinct.
4. Complete the Petition Form
Find and fill out the “Petition for Eviction Based on Non-payment of Rent” form available on the precinct's webpage.
5. Military Affidavit
Complete a Military Affidavit to state the tenant’s military status. Verify the information through the provided military site.
6. Confirm the Required Details
Call the Justice of the Peace office clerk to ensure you have gathered all necessary information before filing.
7. File the Paperwork
Visit the Justice of the Peace office to submit your eviction paperwork, paying the necessary fees, which range from $100 to $150 for filing and an additional $70 to $100 per additional tenant on the lease.
8. Await the Court Date
Receive a preliminary court date, which usually falls 2-4 weeks from the filing date. Confirm the date as it nears to avoid delays.
9. Prepare for Court
Gather the following for the court appearance:
- Signed lease agreement
- Copy of the notice to vacate
- Tenant ledger for overdue rent
- Management contract (if applicable)
- Proof of tenant's non-military status
10. Be Prompt on the Court Day
Arrive early on the court date, ensuring your documents are organized. Absence can lead to a default judgment in favor of the tenant, forcing you to restart the process.
11. Present Your Case
In court, express your demand for possession of the property and recovery of overdue rent plus court costs. Maintain a meticulous record of financial transactions to support your case.
12. Abide by the Court's Judgment
If the court rules in your favor, the tenant gets a 5-day period to settle the matter or vacate the property.
13. File a Writ of Possession
In cases where the tenant fails to comply within 5 days, return to the court to file a “Writ of Possession” to enforce the eviction with the help of a deputy.
Handling an eviction yourself can be a straightforward process when you follow the outlined steps carefully. It is essential to adhere to legal provisions at each stage to ensure a smooth eviction process.
Need Assistance? Contact Green Residential
Despite the simplified guide, if you find yourself hesitant to go through the eviction process alone, Green Residential is here to assist. We offer comprehensive property management and leasing services at affordable rates, including assistance with the eviction process, ensuring a hassle-free experience for property owners. Feel free to reach out to us for expert advice and support.