Evictions in Texas During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Disability Rights Texas Handout

Date Created: March 24, 2020
Updated: April 15, 2020
Publication Code: HS4

Evictions in Texas During COVID-19 Pandemic

This handout is available in Braille and/or by audio file upon request.

I heard that Landlords weren’t allowed to evict people in Texas right now. Is this true? 

Yes and No. A landlord may file in court to evict you right now but courts cannot hold a hearing to decide the matter until after April 30, 2020. In other words, you should not have an eviction hearing until May 1, 2020. However, if a landlord says that there is a threat of physical harm or criminal activity, a court may proceed with an eviction.

If I am evicted on May 1, 2020, how soon would they be able to force me to leave?

The earliest a constable or sheriff could come and force you to leave is May 8, 2020.

My Landlord told me I had to be out by April 25, 2020. Can they make me leave on April 25?

No. Landlords must follow the legal process to force a tenant to leave. Before your landlord can force you to leave, they must follow the legal process required in Texas.

Do I need to pay rent?

YES!  Although this pauses the eviction process, it will begin again and landlords can evict you for not paying rent.

Do I have any protections after May 1, 2020?

You may have other protections. Some localities have protected renters. To see if your city or county has protected renters in any way, check here.

Also, landlords for federally subsidized or federally backed housing are barred from evicting tenants for not paying rent or fees late for 120 days by the CARES Act starting March 27, 2020. As a renter, you are still liable for the rent, but you cannot be evicted for not paying rent or late fees. If you do not know if this applies to your home, please contact us.

*IMPORTANT UPDATES

Many properties are protected beyond April 30, 2020. Landlords for federally subsidized or federally backed housing are barred from evicting tenants for not paying paying rent or fees late for 120 days starting March 27, 2020. As a renter, you are still liable for the rent, but you can not be evicted for not paying rent or late fees. If you do not know if this applies to your home, please contact us.

For some properties, you can search on the HUD resource locator to see if your rental is included. If your rental is not included, you may still be protected. If your property is associated with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you are protected by the CARES Act. You can ask your landlord (in writing) if their property loan (or loans) are associated with any way with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If the landlord is unable or unwilling to answer your questions, please reach out to us at housing@drtx.org or to your local legal aid.

 

If you need assistance with any of the issues described above, please call our intake line at 1-800-252-9108, apply online at intake.DRTx.org or email housing@drtx.org with your name, phone number, address, and a description of the issue.


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www.DRTx.org
Intake: 1-800-252-9108
Main Line: 512-454-4816

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.

These handouts are not intended to, and do not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.