Property Management Blog

A Guide to Tenant Eviction in Texas: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

System - Tuesday, August 29, 2023

As a landlord in Texas, dealing with difficult tenants or lease violations might eventually lead to the need for eviction. While eviction is a serious and often challenging process, understanding the legal steps involved can help you navigate it successfully. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you through the process of evicting a tenant in Texas.

**Step 1: Review Your Lease Agreement**

Before proceeding with eviction, review the lease agreement you have with the tenant. Ensure that you have a valid reason for eviction, such as non-payment of rent, lease violations, or illegal activities on the property. Having clear language in your lease agreement will make the eviction process smoother.

**Step 2: Provide Proper Notice**

Texas law requires landlords to provide written notice to tenants before proceeding with eviction. The type of notice depends on the reason for eviction:

1. **Notice to Vacate** If the tenant hasn't paid rent, you must provide a "Notice toVacate" This notice gives the tenant three days to pay the overdue rent or vacate the property.

2. **Late Notice or Notice of Other Breach of Lease** If the tenant has violated the lease terms, such as excessive noise or unauthorized pets, you must provide a "Late Notice or Notice of Other Breach of Lease" This notice gives the tenant the opportunity to rectify the violation within a specified timeframe or vacate the property.

3. **Notice to Quit:** For severe lease violations or illegal activities, you can provide a "Notice to Quit." This notice gives the tenant three days to vacate the property without the option to rectify the situation.

**Step 3: Filing an Eviction Lawsuit (Forcible Entry and Detainer)**

If the tenant does not comply with the notice or refuses to vacate, you can proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit. This is also known as a "Forcible Entry and Detainer" lawsuit. You'll need to file a petition with the Justice of the Peace court in the county where the property is located. The court will issue a summons to the tenant, and a court date will be set.

**Step 4: Attend the Court Hearing**

Both you and the tenant will have the opportunity to present your case at the court hearing. If the court rules in your favor, it will issue a "Writ of Possession," which grants you the legal right to regain possession of the property. One of the benefits of having a property management company in place is that they will attend the hearing on your behalf. 

**Step 5: Enforcement of the Writ of Possession**

If the tenant still does not vacate the property after the court ruling, you can request the constable or sheriff to enforce the "Writ of Possession." They will oversee the physical removal of the tenant and their belongings from the property.

**Important Points to Remember:**

- **No Self-Help Eviction:** Texas law prohibits "self-help" eviction actions, such as changing locks or removing the tenant's belongings without a court order.


- **Tenant's Belongings:** If the tenant leaves belongings behind after eviction, Texas law requires you to store them for a specific period and provide notice to the tenant. If they do not claim their belongings, you can dispose of them according to the law.

- **Legal Counsel:** While Texas law allows landlords to represent themselves in court, seeking legal counsel can be beneficial, especially if the situation is complex or contested.

Evicting a tenant in Texas is a legal process that must be followed diligently to ensure a successful outcome. Understanding the legal requirements and acting within the bounds of the law is essential. If you're unsure about any step of the eviction process, consider consulting with a legal professional or seeking guidance from the local Justice of the Peace court in your county. Remember that proper communication and adherence to the law can lead to a smoother eviction process and protect your rights as a landlord.

3 Signs You Need to Switch Property Management Companies in Sugar Land

Valerie Diaz - Thursday, October 18, 2018

Knowing when to switch property management companies is very important. 

We manage properties in Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City, Katy, Pearland, and some pockets of Houston. Today, we’re talking about why you might need to find a new property manager, and what you should do when you realize it’s time. There are three key signs to watch for.

Sign No. 1: A Bad Tenant Has Taken Over

It is never good when a bad tenant is leasing out your property. It’s absolutely vital for a property management company to do everything in their power to lease out your property to the most trustworthy, reliable, lease-abiding tenant. This keeps eviction and tenant turnover to a minimum. Property management companies are able to do this through a high quality screening procedure. A thorough screening process helps you avoid tenants who could destroy the property or not pay rent. 

Sign No. 2: Lack of Communication

Communication is essential when it comes to your property management company. But, there is a difference between too much communication and too little communication. When you have a property manager who is constantly emailing, calling, and asking the landlord a lot of questions, this can show signs that the property manager doesn’t have the confidence and knowledge to handle your property. 

However, if you are constantly leaving messages and sending emails and you aren’t receiving any communication back from your property manager, it might be a sign that it’s time to find a new company to handle your property. Lack of communication usually indicates one of the following issues:

  • Negligence regarding the property’s condition.

  • Mishandling of money.

  • Lack of adequate bookkeeping or staff.

  • Lack of communication regarding the tenant and the property management company.

Sign No. 3: Lack of Follow Through 

The last sign which could potentially show it’s time to switch property management companies is the lack of follow through. Property managers should not only find reliable tenants; they should be reliable themselves. It is important to have good follow through and transparency, and you want to know good business practices are in place. If lack of action becomes a trend, or certain things aren’t being completed as requested, you’ll wonder what’s going on behind closed doors with your tenant and your property. If you cannot trust the property management company that you are working with, you may want to reconsider doing business with them.

Your relationship with your property management company is crucial. You should always be aware of signs which might suggest you need to search elsewhere. As always, if you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at Sugarland Property Management.

Best Tenant Screening Tips – What is Necessary? Sugarland Property Management

Valerie Diaz - Thursday, June 28, 2018

It’s extremely important that you screen your tenants well. You want to avoid those tenants who could potentially cause damage to your home or make delinquent rental payments. Today, we’re talking about what a good tenant screening process looks like.

Sugarland Property Management: Criminal and Credit History

One of first steps is to pull an applicant’s criminal history and credit history. You also want to look at any eviction reports. With the credit report, take a look at whether accounts are paid on time. With the criminal history, you want to make sure the tenant hasn’t committed any major or violent crimes. Eviction reports are important because if the tenants have been evicted in the past, there’s a strong possibility that they will be poor tenants now.

Sugarland Property Management: Income and Employment Verifications

Verify the tenant’s income. Make sure the tenant earns at least three times the rental amount. You can ask for their last two paystubs. Once we receive those paystubs, we verify them with the tenant’s employer. Contact the workplace, and make sure you’re receiving accurate information.

Sugarland Property Management: Rental History

The third and most important step in your tenant screening process should be to verify rental history. Talk to current and previous landlords. Verify that the rent was paid on time, and no damages were caused to the property. When you verify this information, cross reference the landlord to make sure you’re talking to the real landlord, and not the tenant’s friend who is posing as a landlord. You want to be sure of who you’re speaking with.

If you have any questions about tenant screening, please contact us at Sugarland Property Management. We service Sugarland, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City, Stafford, Pearland, Katy, and some sections of Houston. We’d be happy to help you.