Managing a property in Selma, Texas can be both rewarding and a burden, especially when it comes to evicting tenants. No one wants to evict someone, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Depending on how long you’ve been managing a Selma property you may have run into this already; you know that the eviction process is lengthy, expensive, and emotionally taxing to both you and the tenant.
If your tenant decides to fight this eviction, it could end poorly for you if you haven’t followed your lease in every detail. As a single landlord, this process can be overwhelming which is why a property manager may be your best solution. Management teams like Real Property Management Campanas can act as a third party and assist with the legal proceedings. They can also make sure you’ve covered any liability by following the lease to the letter and possibly screening out unreliable renters in the first place.
Please Note: Though we will be focusing on the eviction process, this shouldn’t be misconstrued as legal or financial advice.
Know How Eviction Works
Deciding to evict someone from the Selma property you manage is a tough decision, but luckily you live in a state that is more landlord friendly. Evictions are conducted and ruled upon by each county, so laws can change depending on your area. However, they should be relatively the same throughout your state. These are the basics of the process for the state of Texas:
Give the Renter Notice to Vacate
The length of time to vacate after you’ve given notice depends on the length of your lease and whether or not you’re evicting with cause. Here are your three scenarios:
1. Standard lease term (longer than month-to-month) with cause you give the tenant three days to vacate.
2. Standard lease term without cause you must wait until their lease expires to give notice and then the tenant has three days to vacate.
3. Month-to-Month you provide notice with 30 days to vacate.
File an Eviction Lawsuit
If the renter hasn’t vacated within the timeframe given you can file an eviction suit. You may be tempted to file this immediately – maybe you know the tenant is going to fight the eviction – but if you file before the vacate deadline your suit will be thrown out.
Both you and the tenant are required to be present for the eviction suit hearing if either wants to be able to appeal. You aren’t required to hire legal representation. There are three primary outcomes of this hearing:
1. The tenant doesn’t appear in court, and it is ruled in your favor. The tenant now has five days to vacate the property.
2. The judge rules in your favor as a landlord. The tenant has five days to appeal the ruling, and if they don’t appeal, then they must vacate the property by the sixth day. If the tenant doesn’t appeal but also doesn’t vacate you must file for a Writ of Possession. Once this is filed the constable will oversee the removal of the tenant within 24 hours.
3. The judge rules in favor of the tenant. You as the landlord have five days to appeal the ruling and possibly start the process over.
These outcomes are just an overview of what could happen to the Selma property you manage, which is why having a third party in your corner like Real Property Management Campanas could be to your advantage.
For instance, when the tenant decides to appeal they may also attempt to countersue you for not upholding your end of the lease. The burden of proof in your eviction suit is on you, not on the tenant, so you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared for any violations the tenant may cite.
A property manager can help you easily thwart a countersue attempt because it’s their job to know the legal ramifications of a poorly managed property. With or without a property manager though you’ll want to have these items in place:
– A solid lease agreement. You must strictly adhere to this agreement with every tenant. It should clearly explain what violates the term of the lease and would be grounds for eviction and how that process would look.
– Documentation of the violation(s.) Unpaid rent is the easiest to document whereas the safety of others, threats, or illegal activity are harder to prove. If evicting per the latter, you’ll want to provide statements from witnesses and physical or video evidence if possible. Witnesses should also be prepared to attend the hearing.
– File your paperwork correctly. If you don’t provide your notice to vacate correctly or file your suit with any mistakes you could end up losing.
The prep work is where the property manager has a significant advantage. If you’re a detail-oriented person and very hands-on with your property, then you may be fine, but it’s a property manager’s job to protect your investment. Real Property Management Campanas has twenty-five years of experience in managing rental homes, which means they have twenty-five years of creating legally binding and airtight lease agreements, accounting and documentation procedures, and conducting proper evictions from notice to final ruling.
Alternatives and Avoidance Techniques
Evicting a renter can be an emotional and financial nightmare, and anyone considering managing a property in Selma or anywhere in the country should attempt to avoid it altogether. Here we will work backward through alternatives to eviction and some preventative measures you can take.
Cash for Keys
This option doesn’t seem to make sense, but it could help you avoid losing a lot of time and money over an eviction lawsuit. Cash for Keys is an agreement that you will give the tenant a certain amount of money to move out of the property. The stipulations for the tenant to receive the funds is that they leave per your deadline and that home is clean and undamaged. Depending on how difficult you anticipate your renter to be this option may cost you less than going to court.
Meet with Your Tenant
Before giving notice to vacate you may want to try setting up a final meeting with your renter to see if you can resolve the issue on which you’re basing your eviction. The renter may not want to go through with this, but if they show up, then you’ll want to remain calm as you explain the violations. The tenant is at risk of losing their home, so hopefully, they’ll be willing to discuss a resolution, but they will also be emotional. Have a proposal and if the tenant is unwilling to go through with this then have your eviction notice ready to present.
Conduct Better Tenant Screenings
Ultimately your tenant may be undergoing eviction because you didn’t screen thoroughly at the beginning. Yes, some bad renters slip through the cracks; but, if you have reliable screening procedures and approach each candidate’s profile professionally, then it’s less likely you’ll rent to someone who will violate your lease.
When considering the possibility of eviction as a new or seasoned landlord in Selma, you may conclude that partnering with a property manager is in your best interest. At Real Property Management, we pride ourselves on staffing our team with experts who understand the ins and outs of housing laws in your area.
Our thorough knowledge and well-tested procedures in tenant screening, documentation, and rent collection give your home a professional front that will act as a protective shield when it comes to difficult tenants. If you’re ready to stop worrying about the legal pitfalls of renting and start protecting your investment, then contact us online or call us directly at (210) 314-1039 today!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.