Evictions are not a pleasant experience for anyone involved in real estate. However, they remain a possibility even with well-screened residents.
Real estate investors must understand that poorly executed evictions could lead to financial loss and property damage. Because of this, it's essential to expect the best and prepare for the worst, which is generally solid advice in the real estate game.
So, if you decide to rent a property rather than sell, you must understand the legal eviction process in San Antonio! It's a strictly regulated and sometimes lengthy process involving several legal and administrative procedures. However, as we saw during the pandemic, regulations can change sometimes.
Today we'll walk through the process and learn how experienced real estate managers or investors can deal with, avoid and implement an eviction process as a last resort.
What Constitutes Grounds for Eviction in Texas?
Before starting an eviction process, it's essential to have everything organized and clearly outlined. An eviction in Texas is known as "forcible entry and detainer." This refers to a situation in which a renter occupies a property after their legal right to live there has ended either by staying beyond the agreed-upon timeframe or breach of the lease agreement. Because of this, the tenancy must be legally terminated before the eviction process can begin.
The most common grounds for eviction in Texas include:
- Failure to pay rent
- Unauthorized tenants
- Violation of lease agreements (such as pets or smoking)
- Subleasing without permission
- Damage to property
- Illegal activity within the property
- Fraudulent behavior (such as misrepresentation of the lease agreement)
- Breach of HOA regulations
Before starting efforts to remove a renter, work with your attorney and a property manager to make sure you have legal grounds to do so!
What Does the Eviction Process Look Like in San Antonio?
An eviction is necessary when every other avenue to help residents pay rent or abide by the lease agreement fails. Then, it's essential to follow the legal process. As mentioned earlier, eviction laws underwent temporary changes in 2020. However, today we'll focus on the standard Texas eviction process.
- The first step is to provide the renters with a three-day notice to vacate, highlighting the reason for the request, such as failure to make rental payments. Please note that if the lease agreement specifies a different notice period, this must be followed.
- If residents do not vacate the property in these three days, the property owner must file a petition (eviction lawsuit) with the county court in Texas. As part of this process, a constable or sheriff must serve the eviction notice.
- In most cases, a court hearing will take place ten days after filing the eviction lawsuit. The court will then make a judgment. Both parties must wait five days to appeal the judgment. If the resident does not vacate and decides to appeal, another eight days must pass before the hearing.
- If judgment rules favor the property owner, a writ of possession will be issued, giving the residents 24 hours to vacate the property before a sheriff or constable is legally justified to remove them from the property.
While this might seem like a tedious process, it's necessary to avoid lawsuits or additional problems with tenants who refuse to pay rent or comply with the lease. Your property manager and an attorney can help you navigate this timeline!
How Real Estate Managers Avoid Evictions
When it comes to evictions, many real estate investors, especially new investors, are not ready to deal with the process. They also do not have the time and energy to undertake what can be a grueling and ultimately frustrating process. Some even actively avoid thinking about evictions altogether!
Because of this, a property manager is your best resource for legal compliance and positive outcomes. So let's look at how a qualified real estate manager can help deal with eviction.
Better Tenants Lead to Fewer Evictions
We say this because it's true: the best evictions are the ones you never have to do!
The best property managers apply a thorough screening process and build relationships with renters through best practices and communication. Through experience, property managers know what warning signs to look for and how to choose the best renters for each property and circumstance. By choosing better renters, rental property owners avoid evictions (because they don't need to remove bad tenants).
Property Managers Keep an Eye on Things
You bought an investment property to make passive income, not to be constantly stressing about the state of the property and whether or not your residents are following the guidelines and lease agreement.
A property manager can monitor renter actions and ensure they follow the lease appropriately. Great property managers will keep an eye on renters who aren't paying rent to connect with them and find out what's going on through open communication. Clear communication can help residents catch up on past-due rental payments to avoid an eviction.
As a final step, property managers can initiate eviction proceedings if required.
Property Managers Know the Paperwork
Evictions are a slow and administratively dense process. The best property management company San Antonio offers knows the steps to take to comply with landlord-tenant laws. They also provide the proper paperwork, including timely late notices and written eviction notices following the current guidelines.
Eviction processes can change (as we saw with the Covid-19 pandemic), and mishandled documentation or failure to abide by court requirements and timeframes can be detrimental to your success as a property owner. To have the best possible experience when dealing with an eviction (and to prevent them), put your property in the hands of a management professional!
We're Here to Help With the Texas Eviction Process
Evictions are a messy, unpleasant, yet sometimes necessary part of being a property investor. From the administrative build-up to the legal obligations, evictions are best avoided altogether.
One of the easiest ways diligent property owners deal with evictions is through working with a qualified property management group that knows the laws and administrative processes inside out. If you're dealing with resident issues or simply after the peace of mind in case the worst occurs, reach out to the team at MHN Properties today. We're a full-service property management group helping proactive property owners with every step of maximizing their investments!