What is the Eviction Process for Bexar County
WARNING: Before understanding the legal process for evicting a tenant, it’s important that landlords understand that there is no other legal way to remove a tenant. You need to know the eviction process for Bexar County. A self-help or illegal eviction is when a landlord decides to take matters in his/her own hands without following the procedures prescribed by state and local law. To reiterate, it is ILLEGAL for a landlord to try and remove a tenant without use of the court system, and it should never be attempted, no matter how dire a situation may be.
The Landlord Must Follow the Eviction Process for Bexar County
If the tenant fails to move by the notice to vacate date, the landlord must file an eviction complaint in the appropriate Justice Court depending on the location of the premises, to initiate eviction proceedings. This complaint has to detail why the tenant is being evicted and give a thorough description of the rental property. The landlord can also ask to be awarded any overdue rent, court costs, and legal expenses incurred. The court will not consider any late fees or interest imposed by the landlord in awards. The tenant is issued an eviction citation by the court, advising them of their court date.
If the rental property does not have a mailbox to receive mail and the landlord cannot legally enter the rental unit to post the notice inside the front door, then the notice can be posted on the outside of the front door of the property. If the tenant has a dangerous animal, such as a guard dog, or an alarm system, that prohibits the landlord from entering the property, then the notice can be securely posted on the front gate or other visible portion of the main entry to the rental property.
Before filing for an eviction, the landlord is required by law to give the tenant a notice to vacate the premises. According to the Texas statutes, this notice must be in writing and can be delivered to the tenant personally if the landlord brings along a witness. The landlord can also send the notice by certified mail, with a return receipt requested. After the notice is sent, the landlord has to wait three days before filing for eviction in a local Texas justice of the peace court unless the lease specifies a shorter or longer waiting period.
There is more than one situation that allows a landlord to legally evict a tenant under Texas law. A tenant who is behind on the rent stipulated in the oral or written lease agreement or rental contact can be evicted. The actions of the tenant, members of the tenant’s household or family, or guests the tenant invited can also result in eviction if the actions included threats or harm to the landlord, any of the landlord’s employees or other tenants, or damages to the rental premises or violates a lease agreement. In some types of leases, the tenant can be evicted for staying past the termination date of a lease that was not renewed, regardless of payment of rent.
Landlords should never:
- Change the locks on the property
- Turn off utilities or permit a utility to be turned off
- Remove any of the tenant’s personal property from the rental unit
- Threaten, harass, or use force to make a tenant leave
Using our eviction services is the best way to get your rent or house back and have it done the right way.