The process of how to evict someone in Texas can be a challenging ordeal for property owners. Whether the goal is to reclaim the property to sell your house fast or to address a violation of lease terms, understanding the specific legal requirements is crucial.

Eviction is a legal procedure. It complies with Texas state laws. This protects the rights of both landlords and tenants. This article aims to provide a clear and concise guide on how to evict someone in Texas, outlining the crucial steps involved in this complex process.

The article will cover the key phases of eviction, starting with understanding your legal grounds for eviction, which is the foundation of a valid case. Next, we will talk about how to properly give the tenant notice to vacate. This is a critical step that, if mishandled, can significantly delay the process. Then we’ll teach you the logistics of filing an eviction suit, attending the eviction hearing, and what follows after a successful eviction.

Evicting a tenant is stressful. It has likely resulted in a financial burden so far. We want to help you get out of complicated situations with as much grace as possible.

Each section helps walk through the legal landscape of eviction in Texas, making the process as straightforward as possible. Whether you are new to property ownership or have been a landlord for a long time, this step-by-step guide will give you clarity on your eviction case and simplify the process for you. Hopefully, this will keep court costs down when you have the proper notice. As a landlord property owner, let’s talk about your legal rights for your rental unit.

Understanding Your Legal Grounds for Eviction: How To Evict Someone In Texas

In Texas, landlords must have a valid legal basis to evict a tenant, which typically involves nonpayment of rent, violations of lease terms, or illegal activity on the premises. Understanding these grounds thoroughly ensures that the eviction process adheres to state law, protecting both the landlord’s and the tenant’s rights. Keeping reading to learn all about the next step in eviction: how to start the eviction procedure.

Nonpayment of Rent

If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, Texas law allows landlords to issue a 3-day notice to quit, giving the tenant the option to pay the overdue unpaid rent or vacate the premises.

Serve this notice correctly, ensuring it includes specific details like the amount of rent owed and the deadline for tenant action. If the tenant neither pays the rent nor vacates after this period, the landlord can proceed with filing an eviction suit without a longer notice period.

Violations of Lease Terms

Lease agreements outline specific conditions that tenants must adhere to, such as noise restrictions, pet policies, and prohibitions against unauthorized occupants. If a tenant breaches these terms, landlords must provide a 3-day notice to cure the violation or move out.

This notice should clearly state the nature of the breach and the actions required to remedy it. If the tenant corrects the issue within the allotted time, the eviction process does not proceed. However, if the tenant fails to comply, the landlord can initiate an eviction suit.

Illegal Activity on Premises

Engaging in illegal activities such as drug manufacturing, distribution, or other criminal actions on the rental property is a serious violation. In such cases, Texas landlords can issue a three-day notice to vacate without offering the chance to rectify the situation.

This action is typically followed by immediate legal proceedings to remove the tenant. It is crucial for landlords to have clear evidence of illegal activity and to follow proper legal procedures to ensure a smooth eviction process.

Landlords must always provide written notice before proceeding with an eviction, detailing the specific reasons and the time frame the tenant has to address the issue or vacate. Following these guidelines helps maintain a legal and fair eviction process, respecting the rights of all parties involved.

Giving the Tenant Notice to Vacate

Before a landlord can initiate legal eviction proceedings in Texas, they must provide the tenant with a written “notice to vacate.” This notice serves as a formal request for the tenant to leave the property due to a breach of the lease agreement. Texas law specifies the requirements for the content and delivery of this notice to ensure it is legally valid.

Types of Notices

There are primarily two types of eviction notices used depending on the situation: the “notice to quit” and the “notice of lease violation.”

  1. Three-Day Notice to Quit: This is commonly issued for non-payment of rent. The landlord must inform the tenant that they have three days to pay the overdue rent or vacate the premises. It’s crucial that this notice is delivered correctly to start the eviction timeline.
  2. Thirty-Day Notice for Month-to-Month Tenancies: For tenants on a month-to-month lease, this notice is used when the landlord does not intend to renew the lease. It provides the tenant with 30 days to vacate the property. This notice must be in writing and a copy kept for records. This way the tenant can make sure they have time to get all of their personal property before eviction, which can cause monetary damages and add to eviction expenses.

For specific cases such as non-payment of rent or lease violations, the notice period can be as short as three days unless the lease states otherwise. In situations involving federal programs or federally-backed mortgages, the federal CARES Act mandates a 30-day notice period.

Serving the Notice Properly

The effectiveness of an eviction notice heavily depends on how it is served to the tenant. Texas law allows several methods to ensure the tenant receives the notice:

  • In-Person: Directly to the tenant or to someone of suitable age in the household.
  • By Mail: Using regular, certified, or registered mail with a return receipt to confirm delivery.
  • Posting on the Property: If direct contact is not possible, the notice can be posted on the main entry door. If obstacles prevent posting it on the inside of the door (like a keyless security system), it may be placed outside the main entrance in a sealed envelope marked appropriately. The landlord must also mail the notice on the same day.

The countdown for the tenant to vacate begins once the notice is delivered or posted.

If the notice is mailed, the period starts upon delivery. If posted on the property, it starts from the moment it is affixed to the door.

By adhering to these guidelines, landlords can ensure they are complying with Texas law, thus minimizing the risk of delays in the eviction process.

Filing an Eviction Suit: How To Evict Someone In Texas

Once the notice to vacate period has expired and the tenant has not corrected the violation or vacated the premises, the landlord can proceed to file an eviction suit. Initiate this legal action at the justice court located in the same area as the rental property.

Required Documentation

To start the eviction process, the landlord must prepare and file several key documents:

  1. Petition for Eviction: This document should clearly state the reasons for eviction, such as nonpayment of rent or breach of lease terms. It must include the landlord’s name, contact information, and details about the rental property, including its address.
  2. Notice to Vacate: Include a copy of the notice to vacate that was previously served to the tenant. This is proof that the tenant was given a fair warning and the appropriate amount of time to remedy the situation or leave the property.
  3. Proof of Service: Documentation that confirms the notice to vacate was delivered to the tenant. This could be an acknowledgment of receipt by the tenant or a statement from the person who delivered the notice.
  4. A copy of the lease agreement to demonstrate that the tenant has violated its terms.
  5. Rent ledger showing missed payments if the eviction is due to nonpayment of rent.

Filing Procedure

The filing process involves several steps.

Following these steps ensures that you handle the eviction legally and efficiently.

  1. Submit the Petition: The landlord must file the petition for eviction with the justice court. If eFiling is not preferred or available, the landlord should check with the local justice court for the appropriate forms and submission guidelines.
  2. Service of Process: After the petition is filed, the tenant is served with the eviction papers at least 6 days before the trial. This can be done by a sheriff or constable, who will deliver the papers directly to the tenant or to a responsible member of the household who is 16 years or older.
  3. Alternative Service Methods: If attempts to serve the tenant directly are unsuccessful, the landlord may request permission from the court to use alternative service methods. These can include slipping the notice through a mail slot, under the door, or affixing it to the door.
  4. Scheduling the Hearing: The eviction hearing is set no sooner than 10 days and no later than 21 days after the filing of the suit. This timeline ensures both parties have sufficient time to prepare.
  5. Jury Request: If desired, the tenant or landlord can request a jury trial. Make this request at least 3 days before the scheduled trial date.

Landlords can navigate the eviction process more smoothly and uphold their rights while respecting the legal protections afforded to tenants by meticulously following these steps and ensuring they correctly prepare and file all documentation.

For free eviction forms you can use as templates, check out this useful site.

Attending the Eviction Hearing: How To Evict Someone In Texas

Preparing for the Hearing

To ensure a smooth process at the eviction hearing, landlords and tenants should arrive at least 15 minutes early. It’s crucial to bring all relevant documents such as the lease, receipts, payment records, and any other evidence that might support the case. Organizing these documents beforehand and practicing what to say can significantly impact the effectiveness of the presentation to the judge.

Landlords must draft and bring a proposed order to the hearing, which the judge may use to decide the case. The primary issue at the hearing will be whether the landlord has the right to repossess the property immediately. If rent is overdue, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to prove the amount due.

Tenants, understand your legal defenses. This is procedural. It argues that the landlord improperly filed the eviction suit, or asserts that no lease violation occurred. If tenants choose to have legal representation, it can greatly aid in presenting a strong defense.

Prepare appropriately and dress professionally. Make a positive impression with neat, professional attire. Avoid work uniforms, jeans, sleeveless shirts, and overly casual attire. Show the court that you take the matter seriously as a responsible business owner.

Here are some tips if you are a landlord preparing for an eviction hearing:

Tip 1: Consider Getting An Attorney

First, determine if you need legal assistance. While usually unnecessary due to the streamlined nature of eviction cases, consider a lawyer if:

  • This is your first eviction lawsuit and you’re unsure.
  • The case involves a housing or rent control program.
  • The tenant has legal representation.
  • The tenant has filed for bankruptcy.
  • There’s a non-standard relationship with the tenant (e.g., former employee).

Most evictions proceed swiftly and may not require legal counsel due to their familiarity in court.

Tip 2: Gather All Necessary Documentation

Accurate documentation is crucial. You must have proof of all documents you’ve sent and any required by the court for the hearing. Use this checklist:

  • Proof of sending a formal eviction notice to the tenant
  • Evidence of waiting until the formal eviction notice deadline before proceeding with eviction
  • Documentation for an unlawful detainer suit with the local court
  • Any documentation as per state or local laws

Tip 3: Stay Calm And Professional

Observe the judge’s demeanor and respond accordingly. Avoid interrupting either the judge or your tenant. Prepare key points to discuss, but maintain a natural delivery to appear sincere. Stay composed despite the emotional nature of evictions. Refer to your documentation to substantiate your points, anticipating interruptions from the judge to expedite proceedings.

Finally, treat everyone in court, including your tenant, respectfully. Evictions are challenging for all parties, and maintaining civility improves your standing before the court. Focus on regaining possession of your property and finding a suitable tenant rather than engaging in conflict.

Possible Outcomes

A judge issues A Writ of Possession. This gives a landlord the right to immediate possession. This document provides the tenant with a minimum of five days to vacate the property voluntarily. In some cases, the judge may grant additional time for vacating.

Should the court rule against the tenant, they have several options:

  1. Move out by the deadline.
  2. Appeal the eviction to seek a reversal of the decision.
  3. Do nothing and face forced removal by law enforcement.

If the tenant and landlord reach an agreement during the hearing, such as a payment plan or rental relief, the landlord may withdraw the eviction. The tenant can stay if they meet the conditions.

Tenants need to know landlords in Texas can reject any rental payments, which prevents curing the delinquency. It’s important to note that the filing may still appear on the tenant’s record for up to seven years, potentially affecting future housing opportunities.

Prepare for a hearing that could last from a few minutes to several hours. Proper preparation and understanding of the legal process are key to navigating this challenging situation effectively.

How To Sell A House Fast After Eviction

Evicting your tenant started with a tenant who has either fallen behind on payments or mistreated the property in other ways. Perhaps your unwanted tenants in the state of Texas received their eviction order after not paying rent. When people have to leave suddenly, they may not always leave a home in good repair. Additionally, if they were poor tenants to begin with, it’s possible what you find inside your property is a financial disaster as a landlord.

You might not have the expendable income to repair your property back to rent-ready status anytime soon. If that’s the case, selling your house fast might be the best option for your pocketbook.

In conclusion, if you need help selling your Houston house fast after evicting destructive tenants, Senna House Buyers can help.

Contact us today to see how we can help.

In addition, if you have questions you want to ask us about…

  • Our process for making you an all-cash offer for your house
  • Our process for helping homeowners stop foreclosure in Houston if your situation qualifies
  • Our company and who we are… Just give us a ring at the phone number below or shoot us an email through the form.


Through this guide, we have discussed the complexities of how to evict someone in Texas. We have listed crucial steps from understanding legal grounds for eviction to serving notices and proceeding with an eviction suit. Attending eviction hearings and the potential outcomes are important. Prepare and organize.

In summary, this guide underscores the significance of clear communication, legal knowledge, and empathy in dealing with tenant-landlord conflicts. Landlords need to seek further advice when needed and to consider the broader impacts of eviction on tenants’ lives.

As the landscape of tenant rights and property management evolves, staying informed and responsive to legal requirements is important. Effective property management involves using the eviction processes with diligence. Commit to fair practices and foster a balanced and respectful tenant-landlord relationship.

Having healthy homeowner’s insurance is a good idea in any scenario. Read more about navigating insurance in Houston here.


What is the correct procedure for how to evict someone in Texas?
In Texas, the only lawful method for a landlord to evict a tenant is by winning a forcible entry and detainer suit. This is an eviction lawsuit, in court. Importantly, landlords cannot use self-help methods to evict a tenant, even after winning the lawsuit.

Is it possible to evict someone from my home without giving them notice in Texas?
In Texas, an at-will tenant must receive a minimum of three days’ notice to vacate. And Texas Property Code Section 94.005(b) stipulates this minimum. If the tenant fails to vacate within the specified period, the landlord may proceed to file an eviction lawsuit in justice court.

What is the timeframe for evicting someone in Texas?
The entire eviction process in Texas typically spans about four weeks. But it starts with a three-day notice to vacate before filing the lawsuit. It takes about 8-10 days to serve the citation. The court schedules a hearing between 10-21 days after filing. A five-day period follows. This allows for the tenant to appeal the decision.

What are the costs associated when learning how to evict someone in Texas?
The total cost to file an eviction in Texas is $204. In addition, this includes a $54 court cost and a $150 service fee per individual involved in the eviction process.

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