Property Management Blog

What is the Eviction Process in Austin, TX? Quality Education from a Property Management Professional

System - Monday, October 16, 2017

Evictions come up no matter where you are in your property management career or how much experience you have as a landlord. If you own a rental property, chances are you will have an eviction at some point. These can be avoided. If you have a reputable property manager, you probably don’t need to worry about evicting a tenant, because they’ve done a great job screening your tenants ahead of time. However, sometimes these things still happen.

Reasons for Eviction in Texas

So, what happens in an eviction? Most people think they only happen for nonpayment of rent. That’s the most common reason, but not the only cause. You can evict if a tenant is unruly, has problems with neighbors, or if you uncover pet violations and people living in the property who shouldn’t be. Any time a tenant violates the lease, you can evict. Today, we’re concentrating on evicting for nonpayment.

Letter to Vacate

If the tenants don’t pay by the due date, there is usually a grace period. Then, late fees are charged on the tenant’s account. The first step is to put a Notice to Vacate on the door. The Texas Property Code says it must be a three day notice, and then you can file an eviction in court. Your lease might stipulate that you can file within 24 hours of posting the notice. Make sure that’s in your lease, however. Most people will pay rent as soon as they receive this notice because they don’t want to be evicted. Or, if they don’t have the money, they’ll skip out in middle of the night.

Filing an Eviction Notice

You can e-file with most courts now. Check with the Justice of the Peace to be sure. The process will take a varying amount of time. In Hayes County, it’ will be a little quicker, but in Travis or Williamson County, you should plan on 30 days before you get a court date. It depends on the case load and the other things going on at the courthouse.

Court and Writ of Possession

Once you have a court date, you or your property manager will go to court. Often, the defendant does not show up. But, be prepared with documentation to show the judge. If you receive a judgment, the defendant has five days to appeal. After that period, you can file for a Writ of Possession. This is when you call the constable and go to the property to forcibly remove your tenant. Usually, your tenants are out before this. No one wants to stay and wait for the constable.

When you’re dealing with a reputable property manager, you probably won’t have to do any evictions. If you do, plan for 30 to 45 days if you follow the proper steps. It seems like a long time, but I’ve heard nightmare stories from California, where evictions can take up to a year. Texas is a landlord-friendly state. We’re keeping a sharp eye on your investment, so if you have any questions about Austin property management, please contact us at Peach Blossom Properties.