In this article, we’ll outline the eviction process for you: from the eviction notice onwards. If you need legal help with landlord-tenant law, a Dallas – Fort Worth landlord attorney can help you get what you need to evict tenants.
Notice of Termination Without Just Cause
Ending a Fixed-Term Tenancy
A landlord can’t terminate a fixed-term tenancy without good cause. If they haven’t violated the terms of the agreement or haven’t forgotten to pay rent, Texas law prevents you from getting them evicted.
A landlord who wants a fixed-term tenant to vacate the premises must wait out the duration of the lease. The good news is that landlords do not have to give the occupant notice that they won’t renew the lease unless required by the lease itself.
A tenant who does not vacate the property by the end of the term becomes what’s known as holdover tenants. They’re no longer protected by the lease. In Texas, a landlord must provide holdover tenants a three-day notice to vacate. If they refuse to move out by the end of the three days, you can file a forcible detainer suit (AKA eviction lawsuit) against them in court.
Ending a Month-to-Month Tenancy in Texas
Landlords who want to terminate a monthly tenancy have to provide notice to the tenant. The amount of time required for the notice is dependent on how many times they pay each month.
If payment is more than once every month, the tenancy can end on the later of the following:
- The number of days equal to how often they pay rent
- The date is given in the notice of termination
If payment is once monthly, you can terminate the tenancy on the later of the following:
- One month after the date the notice is given
- The date stated in the notice of termination
Notice of Termination For Cause In Texas
A landlord can choose to end a tenancy early for problem tenants. If they keep violating the rental agreement/lease agreement, or if they miss the rent payment, you can follow the legal process for eviction of renters.
Before an eviction lawsuit filing, you must give the tenant three days’ notice to vacate the rental property. If they don’t move out at the end of the period in the notice of eviction, you can then sue them in court to evict these nuisance tenants.
It’s important to follow the letter of the law when it comes to eviction and unlawful detainer. One mistake with the paperwork or the eviction action can cause trouble and unnecessary expenses. Talk to our experienced Dallas – Fort Worth landlord lawyers to get legal aid with the eviction proceedings and unlawful detainer action.
Tenant Defenses to Eviction
Not all tenants will take an eviction lying down. If the tenant decides to fight the eviction, you need to know their possible defenses so you can prepare for these and counter them. Here is a list of the most common eviction defenses:
- The landlord did not wait for the proper period before filing the eviction case.
- The landlord did not follow all the rules for evicting the tenant.
- The landlord was unfair or was discriminatory toward the renter.
- The landlord failed to maintain the habitability of the dwelling.
Removing a Tenant in Texas
The only way to legally remove a tenant is by winning the forcible entry and detainer suit. Even then, the landlord cannot evict the tenant by their own hands. Only an officer authorized by the judge through an eviction order can conduct the eviction. It is illegal in Texas for landlords to personally kick out a tenant and their belongings even from their personal property.
If the final judgment has been delivered and the tenant still doesn’t move out, you can ask the judge for a writ of possession. This is the last step in the process and allows for the removal of the tenant and all their belongings from the unit.
When terminating a lease/rental agreement, a landlord needs to be aware of the proper procedures of evicting a tenant. If there’s any mistake, you’ll have to go back to square one, paying attorney fees and court fees all over again.
Girling Law, PLLC offers a full range of legal representation to independent rental owners and apartment communities. If you need legal advice on how to evict a tenant, call our Fort Worth landlord lawyers now!