Texas does not allow landlord to evict tenants without a real reason. If you have tenants with no history of lease violation who always pay their rent on time, your best course of action is to talk to your tenant. [read more="Read more" less="Read less"]
Tell them you don’t want to be a landlord anymore, and you don’t intend to renew a lease. Offer to give them their deposits back, write them a letter of recommendation, and allow them to leave when they’re ready.
Tenants can be evicted for nonpayment, causing property damage, holding over (refusing to leave after a lease has expired without renewal), criminal activity, failing to abide by a pet policy, housing people who are not on the lease, or lying on a lease application. Unless there is a serious state of emergency, most evictions require a 30 day notice to comply or quit.
During this 30 day period, tenants will either have to either resolve lease conflicts, pay late rent along with any associated fees, or leave the property. It all depends on the specific situation. If the terms are met, the tenant cannot be evicted. Make sure the tenant is directly served with the notice, and that it clearly outlines what issues need to be resolved and the forms of resolution you’ll accept.
If your terms aren’t met by the end of the 30 day period, you can serve your tenants with a Notice to Vacate. This should detail what terms weren’t successfully met, and give them a minimum of 3 days to vacate before you can formally file for legal eviction. At the end of the 3 days, you can submit copies of all of your notices along with your eviction request to the Justice of the Peace. You’ll also need to submit a Military Affidavit which outlines the military status of the tenant, and a Civil Case Information Sheet that provides the court with all of the particulars.
Once the court begins the formal eviction, your tenants will have an opportunity to speak in court. If they decline, you’ll be awarded a default judgement. As long as your eviction isn’t viewed as violating the rights of your tenant, you’ll be granted your property and the court will prescribe a time period in which the tenant can leave before being forcefully removed. If the tenant is not out by that time, contact law enforcement and have them remove the tenant.
Any self eviction measures are illegal. This means you can’t disconnect utilities or change locks on a tenant until after they’ve been formally removed. Eviction courts have a tendency to protect tenants, and if you act out of turn, you can face some serious repercussions.
In the event that an emergency situation is taking place that calls for an immediate eviction, contact law enforcement. This includes things like tenants using your property as a methamphetamine lab, or serious domestic violence that jeopardizes the safety of the neighborhood. Never attempt to intervene on your own.[/read]