If you are being evicted from your apartment or condo complex, it’s important to understand your rights. Although there are many situations where eviction is perfectly legal, if you feel you have complied with the terms of your lease, you can take legal action against your landlord. Here we look at the circumstances surrounding wrongful evictions in the state of Texas and how your rights can be protected.
When is Eviction Illegal in Texas?
If you feel your landlord is evicting you based on any of the following reasons, your eviction is illegal:
- Your race
- Your sex
- Your national origin
- A disability
- Your family status
If you fit into any of these categories, you should speak to a wrongful eviction attorney right away. Apartment law also looks at whether your landlord may want you out of the apartment for personal reasons.
For example, if you recently filed maintenance complaints or voiced concerns about apartment negligence, your landlord might be evicting you in retaliation. In this case, your rights need to be protected with the help of an attorney. In fact, you can actually sue landlords who are suspected of such actions.
Texas Tenant Rights
Unfortunately in Texas, a landlord’s rights tend to take priority over the tenant. In fact, the law allows landlords to evict a tenant for being one day late on their rent. Although some leases might stipulate otherwise, any breach of the lease can make it legal for your landlord to evict you as long as they follow proper procedures required by law. This includes:
- Proper Notice: Your landlord must provide proper notice in writing informing you that you must leave. This “notice to vacate” must either provide a specified time to correct a problem that led to the eviction or allow at least three days’ notice to move unless the lease states otherwise. Your notice can be given to you in person and must be accepted by someone 16 years or older. However, the notice can also be applied to your apartment door or sent by regular, certified, or registered mail with a return receipt. Any timelines regarding your eviction are applied from the day you receive the notice. As well, regardless of how the landlord chooses to deliver the notice, a copy should also be mailed.
- Proper Timeframes: Your landlord must give you at least three days to leave the apartment. However, if your landlord has a federally backed mortgage, they are required to give you 30 days’ notice. Your attorney can look into the mortgage to determine whether or not they gave enough time.
If your landlord does not follow this process, a landlord cannot file a suit to evict you. You may also have an apartment lawsuit on your hands for wrongful eviction.
Your landlord can file their eviction suit following proper notice. You must be served papers informing you of the trial at least six days before it occurs. Papers are delivered by a sheriff or constable and must be received by someone in your household over 16. Papers not received on two occasions can be delivered via your apartment mail slot, under the front door, or affixed to the front door.
You’ll need an attorney to protect your rights in landlord lawsuits as you can contest the eviction in writing. If you fail to send a response or show up at the trial, you are risking judgment in favor of your landlord for apartment or condo lawsuits. The suit takes place between 10 to 21 days. You also have the right to request a trial by jury within 3 days prior to the trial. If you already lost your case, you have a right to appeal.
If you have been evicted from your apartment or condo complex, or your landlord won the court case for their eviction suit, speak to the eviction experts at Malley Law Firm today.