Follow 6 easy steps to file an eviction lawsuit in Texas and protect your rights as a landlord.
Being a landlord has many advantages. It represents the opportunity for passive income, appreciation of real estate, and tax benefits, among others. It does, however, occasionally come with a downside: tenants who don’t cooperate with the legal agreement that was made. If you’re having trouble with a tenant, then you should be aware of your rights so that you know when you’re able to evict them.
So let’s dive into what an eviction lawsuit is, some of the common reasons that landlords evict their tenants, and how to file an eviction lawsuit in Texas.
What Is an Eviction Lawsuit?
An eviction lawsuit is a legal process by which a landlord seeks to remove a tenant from a rental property. The lawsuit is typically filed in a court of law and may be based on the tenant’s failure to pay rent, a violation of the terms of the lease agreement, or other grounds. The process typically involves a hearing in which the landlord and tenant present evidence and argue their case, and a judge makes a decision on whether or not to evict the tenant. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant is typically given a certain amount of time to vacate the property.
Common Reasons Landlords Evict Tenants
There are several common reasons why a landlord may choose to evict a tenant. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Not paying rent: If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may serve them with a notice to vacate the property and file an eviction lawsuit.
- Violation of the lease: If a tenant violates the terms of their lease agreement, the landlord may serve them with a notice to vacate the property and file an eviction lawsuit. This includes having unauthorized occupants, engaging in illegal activity, or causing damage to the property, among others.
- Holding over: If a tenant remains in possession of the property after their lease has expired, the landlord has the right to file an eviction lawsuit.
- Nuisance: If a tenant causes a disturbance to the other tenants, landlord, or neighborhood, the landlord may serve them with a notice to vacate the property.
- Illegal Use: If a tenant uses the property for illegal activities, then the landlord may request that they leave the property.
How to File an Eviction Lawsuit in Texas
Step 1: Serve the tenant with a notice to vacate
In Texas, landlords must give tenants a notice to vacate before filing an eviction lawsuit. The amount of notice required varies depending on the reason for the eviction.
Step 2: File a petition for eviction
If the tenant does not vacate the property after receiving the notice, the landlord can file a petition for eviction with the justice court in the county where the property is located.
Step 3: Serve the tenant with a citation
The landlord must serve the tenant with a citation, which is a notice of the eviction lawsuit. This can be done by a constable or a process server.
Step 4: Attend the eviction hearing
Both the landlord and tenant are required to attend the eviction hearing. The landlord must present evidence and testimony to support the eviction.
Step 5: Obtain a judgment and writ of possession
If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a judgment and writ of possession. The writ of possession allows the constable to remove the tenant from the property.
Step 6: Eviction
If the tenant still refuses to vacate, the constable can use the writ of possession to remove the tenant and their belongings from the property.
*This is a general outline of the process, though every situation is unique. It’s always recommended to consult an attorney for specific guidance on the eviction process in Texas.
Contact Us at AMS Law Group
Eviction proceedings in Texas (or anywhere) may seem intimidating, which is why it’s crucial to get the help of a lawyer if you’re unsure of your rights or want to begin an eviction lawsuit. At AMS Law Group, we’re here to help you throughout the entire process, from start to finish. We offer 24/7 support so that you never feel unsure about where you stand in the process. For a free consultation, contact us today.