Facing an eviction is confusing, overwhelming, and deeply stressful. If you and your family are facing an eviction, you are certainly not alone.
According to an estimate published by National Public Radio (NPR), 2.3 million eviction proceedings are filed in the United States each and every year. The rules and procedures for evictions vary from state to state. Unfortunately for tenants, Texas is one of the most landlord-friendly states in the entire country.
Still, you can fight an eviction in Texas. Rachel E. Khirallah is an experienced Texas eviction defense lawyer. She is committed to protecting the rights of her clients. If you are facing eviction in North Texas, it is imperative that you take immediate action. The process can move extremely quickly.
For a free, fully private consultation with a skilled Dallas eviction attorney, please contact our legal team today.
How to Fight an Eviction in Texas: A Guide
1. Understand Texas Eviction Law
As was mentioned, Texas is a landlord-friendly jurisdiction. If you are even a single day late on your rent, your landlord can start the eviction process. That being said, there is a process in place. Your landlord cannot simply barge into your home or apartment and start removing your things.
As a tenant you have important legal rights. Under Texas state law (Chapter 24 of the Texas Property Code), there are rules and regulations that your landlord must follow when attempting to initiate an eviction.
First and foremost, your landlord must give you adequate notice. Before filing for eviction, your landlord must give you at least three days written notice. The failure to do so is a violation of your rights.
If you did not receive sufficient notice of eviction, call a lawyer right away. In addition, if you believe that you are being evicted for an illegal reason, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney immediately.
2. Consider Your Options for Settlement
In some cases, the best way to fight eviction is by working with your landlord. Of course, this is not a viable option in every eviction case; there are landlords who are simply not willing to be reasonable. A fair settlement may not be an achievable outcome.
Still, in some cases, the best way to stop an eviction in Texas is to get the landlord to voluntarily halt the process. Working towards a settlement could be an option if you are behind on your rent, but you are currently in a position to make partial payments. It may be in the landlord’s financial interests to work out a deal with you.
3. Prepare for Your Day in Court
All tenants have the right to challenge an eviction in court. Eviction cases start in a Texas Justice of the Peace Court. If your case is not successful there, you have five days to appeal the eviction. At the very least, fighting an eviction in court typically adds at least a month to the process. Though, it can certainly take longer than that for an eviction case to be fully resolved.
As far as building a case to defend an eviction goes, you must directly address the landlord’s stated or unstated reasons for pursuing the eviction. Most of the time, landlords are seeking an eviction for non-payment of rent. If you pay the rent, that can be used as a valid defense. Though, you should consult with an experienced Texas eviction defense lawyer before submitting a payment — especially if you are already facing a court day.
Another common defense to eviction is lack of adequate notice. If you did not receive proper notice, you may be able to successfully challenge the eviction. In addition, if your landlord violated your rights or the property was uninhabitable under Texas law, you might be able to successfully fight the eviction.
Ultimately, all eviction cases are different. If you are facing an eviction in Texas, the best thing you can do is to consult with a qualified landlord-tenant lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will be able to review your case and help you determine the best path forward.
Speak to Our Dallas, TX Eviction Defense Attorney Today
At Khirallah PLLC, our Texas wrongful eviction lawyer is a strong, committed advocate for tenants. If you or your loved one is facing eviction in Texas, please know that you have important legal rights.
Rachel E. Khirallah is an experienced real estate lawyer, she is prepared to help you challenge a wrongful eviction. To set up a free, strictly confidential review of your eviction case, contact our Dallas law office today.