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Evictions in Texas

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People with disabilities may face evictions because of their disabilities. Learn about potential options available to help you stay in your home.

Can I be evicted if I can’t pay my rent?

Yes. However, you might be able to stop the eviction with a reasonable accommodation request if you are able to secure funding.

A reasonable accommodation request may help you avoid eviction. Some reasons why you might need a reasonable accommodation are:

  • There is a COVID-19 related reason you or someone in your house cannot work and are now facing eviction or a housing crisis
  • You have lost income and have unpaid rent, past due rent, or late rent because of your disability
  • Losing income and facing eviction is making you or a family member’s mental health worse

There may be local programs that can help you pay your rent.

What should I do if the court has entered an order evicting me?

  1. Appeal the Eviction
    You only have five days to file an appeal from an eviction. You must act quickly if you want to appeal. For more information and instructions on how to appeal, check-out Texas Law Help’s Appealing an Eviction article.

Can I stop my landlord from filing an eviction for not paying rent?

You can send your landlord a request for an accommodation if the reason for your unpaid rent is related to a disability, including COVID-19. For example, you may have lost your job because you have long COVID. You can use our interactive Unpaid Rent Accommodation Request Generator to ask for more time to pay rent, delay or avoid eviction, or even forgive past rent but you will likely need to have money for a payment plan and to pay rent going forward to avoid eviction entirely as reasonable accommodations can’t cause an undue financial burden to the landlord.

This could apply if you or someone in the house has lost a job because their disability, lost income because of their disability, or if losing income or the increased cost of everyday items is making someone in the household’s mental health worse. This tool lets people use the protections of federal civil rights laws to ask for more time.

Can I get unpaid rent forgiven because of my disability?

Maybe. You can ask your landlord for a reasonable accommodation explaining that the unpaid rent was related to your disability. This is only possible if it does not create an undue financial burden for the landlord.

You can use our interactive Unpaid Rent Accommodation Request Generator to ask for more time to pay rent, delay or avoid eviction, or even forgive past rent. This could apply if you or someone in the house has lost a job because of a disability, lost income because of a disability, or if losing a job or the increased cost of everyday items is making someone in the household’s mental health worse. This tool lets people use the protections of federal civil rights laws to ask for more time.

What should I do if the landlord has already filed an eviction?

You must respond to the eviction and show up for the court date. If you are unable to go to the courthouse due to your disability or concerns about COVID-19, you should ask the court for an accommodation to attend the hearing remotely, either by phone or video call.

I want to stop daily notifications that I owe money because they are making my anxiety worse.

I am getting daily notifications/calls/texts that I owe the landlord back rent, fees and penalties. These notifications are making my anxiety worse by interfering with my everyday life activities like sleeping, eating, working, focusing, etc. Can I ask them to stop?

Yes. You can ask them to stop sending you these notifications as an accommodation (a change) to their policy because they are making your anxiety worse. To create an accommodation request that you can download and send to your landlord, use our Stop Debt Collector Harassment with Accommodation Request Letter tool.

Additional housing resources

For more information about your housing rights during COVID-19, check out our other resources:

 

To request this handout in ASL, Braille, or as an audio file, contact us.

Date Created: March 24, 2020
Updated: July 29, 2022
Publication Code: HS4


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www.DRTx.org
Statewide Intake: 1-800-252-9108
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Online Intake available 24/7: intake.DRTx.org

Disclaimer: Disability Rights Texas strives to update its materials on an annual basis, and this handout is based upon the law at the time it was written. The law changes frequently and is subject to various interpretations by different courts. Future changes in the law may make some information in this handout inaccurate.

The handout is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.

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