Though some states allow tenants time to pay late rent before permitting landlords to evict, Texas landlords are not required to wait, unless they agree to do so in the rent contract. Even if tenants are given time to pay past-due rent, many renters are finding themselves several months in arrears. Though tenants’ rights groups believe it is unfair to evict tenants during a financially difficult time, others note that landlords are in a tough spot themselves since they, too, owe money to the banks.
Before initiating an eviction proceeding, landlords should be familiar with the applicable laws at the federal, state, and local levels. For instance, even though evictions may now resume locally, the federal CARES Act still prohibits evictions at properties backed by federal loans or low-income housing properties through late July. Even after evictions may resume at these properties, tenants must be given a notice to vacate.
The Texas Apartment Association, which is comprised of approximately 12,000 property owners and operators, suggests that property managers try to work out a payment plan with their nonpaying tenants, in lieu of going through potentially costly eviction proceedings. A payment plan may also be better in the long term given that eviction proceedings will be backlogged in the court for the foreseeable future. A Texas-licensed attorney who practices real estate law can help landlords assess their options with respect to nonpaying or problematic tenants.