Understanding the Eviction Process in Texas

Understanding the Eviction Process in Texas

In Texas, the process of evicting a tenant can be complex and nuanced. It is governed by statutes and regulations that must be strictly complied with. Landlords and tenants alike must understand their rights and obligations to navigate this process effectively.

Notice to Vacate: 

The eviction process typically begins with the landlord providing the tenant with a notice to vacate the premises. In Texas, the type of notice required depends on the reason for eviction. For example:

  1. For non-payment of rent, the landlord must provide a three-day notice to vacate, as per Texas Property Code § 24.005.
  2. For lease violations other than non-payment of rent, the landlord may need to provide notice of termination of the lease in addition to the three-day notice to vacate.
  3. The notice to vacate must be sent in specific manners, also outlined in the Texas Property Code § 24.005.

Filing an Eviction Suit: 

If the tenant fails to vacate the premises within the specified timeframe, the landlord can proceed with filing an eviction suit in the appropriate justice court. Most courts have their own version of the petition for eviction that must be filled out and either e-filed or hand delivered to the court. The appropriate justice court is determined based on the geographical location of the property. A hearing date is typically set contemporaneously with the filing of the petition. Texas law requires the tenant be served with a copy of the eviction petition and summons, allowing the tenant an opportunity to respond and appear at the hearing.

Court Hearing: 

The court will schedule a hearing where both the landlord and the tenant can present their cases. If the court rules in favor of the landlord, it will issue a writ of possession after the expiration of the period to appeal the ruling, allowing the landlord to regain possession of the property. However, if the court rules in favor of the tenant or dismisses the case, the eviction process will halt. At that point, the landlord may choose to fix any defects pointed out by the court and restart the eviction process.

Execution of Writ of Possession: 

If the landlord obtains a writ of possession, they can request the constable or sheriff to execute it. The constable will post a notice on the property, providing the tenant with a specified timeframe to vacate voluntarily. If the tenant fails to vacate, the constable can physically remove them from the premises.

Tenant's Remedies: 

Tenants have rights during the eviction process as well. They can challenge the eviction by presenting defenses such as improper notice, retaliation, or breach of the warranty of habitability. A tenant who is evicted has five days to appeal the eviction before the landlord can obtain a writ of possession. 


The eviction process in Texas follows a strict legal framework outlined in the Texas Property Code. Landlords and tenants must familiarize themselves with these statutes to understand their rights and obligations. An experienced eviction attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of the process.

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