Your initial step when a tenant stops paying rent is to contact that tenant. Get in touch by any means you have, whether it’s phone, email, or text message. Find out what’s going on with the tenant and why rent hasn’t come in yet. If they aren’t responding or you can’t get a hold of them, the best thing to do is to start the eviction process.* In Texas, it’s a simple procedure.
The first thing you need to do is to serve your tenants a Three-Day Notice to vacate. The best
way is to post this notice to the door. If you don’t live near the property and it’s not convenient to get there, you’ll have to send it via certified mail. If the tenants are still in the property after the three-day period, you’ll need to file the eviction with your local Justice of the Peace court.
Eviction Filing and Hearing
Be sure to include a copy of the lease and the tenant ledger showing the rent payments with your eviction filing. The constable will serve the tenants with a notice of hearing, and you’ll be informed of when that is as well. Make sure you show up to that hearing. If the tenant doesn’t show, you automatically win the case. The judge will likely award you the case if the tenants do show up but still haven’t paid rent.
Writ of Possession
At this point, the tenants have usually moved out of the property. They often will move out during the initial service from the constable or after they lose the eviction hearing. If they are still there, file a Writ of Possession with the court. Then, the Justice of the Peace will come out and physically remove them and all their possessions from your property.
Texas is a very landlord-friendly state, so this is not a difficult process. However, you need to pay attention to the details. If you have any questions about how to evict a tenant or you’d like some help with property management in Austin, please contact us at AustinVestors.
* The eviction information provided herein should not be considered legal advice. For specific questions about your case, please consult a real estate attorney.