In Texas, a landlord attempting to evict a residential tenant must obtain a court order and Writ of Possession from the local Justice Court. There are multiple steps to this process. Providing a written Notice to Vacate is the first step. If the Landlord posted the note on your door or hand-delivered it, then he only needs to provide your three full days notice to vacate the property. If the landlord mailed the Notice he must have done so certified return receipt and provide you five days from the date the notice is mailed for you to vacate. If you do not vacate the property by the end of the notice period, the landlord can then file a petition (lawsuit) for an eviction order. A hearing will be set, often within a week or two. You do not need an attorney to represent you in the Justice Court. But you should appear and defend your right to stay in the home. If you fail to appear, or if the judge decides against you, you will have five days to appeal. If you do not appeal the landlord can then obtain a writ of possession and have you and your personal belongings removed from the property.
A landlord can terminate a lease for any material and substantial breach of the lease contract. Failure to pay rent is the most common reason and a landlord can seek an eviction even if you are only one day late with rent. However, if the landlord has routinely accepted late rent in the past, he must give you advance notice that late rent is no longer acceptable. A landlord cannot terminate your lease early because you requested necessary repairs -this is considered a retaliatory eviction and you can seek damages from the landlord.
If you are a tenant and have been given a Notice to Vacate but believe your rights under the lease have been violated, then contact Andrew Bernick for a consultation. Call 512-763-5370 or email Andrew@BernickLegal.com.