Monday, June 16, 2014

The Eviction Process


If you're facing eviction, your anxiety can be increased by the complexity of The Eviction Process.  Fortunately, the Austin Tenants' Council provides a comprehensive description of the process.  

The landlord files an eviction suit at the local Justice of the Peace court, after which the court clerk gives the citation for eviction to the constable.  The law states that the constable must try to deliver the citation to the tenant two times at their home.  If the constable is unable to hand deliver the citation to the tenant, it is acceptable to place it under the door or attach it to the front door and mail a copy. 

The Citation includes instructions and the date of the eviction trial.  If the tenant doesn't appear for the trial, the landlord gets a default judgment against the tenant.  Within two days of the entry of the judgement, the court is required to send the tenant a written notice of the judgement.

At the eviction trial, both the tenant and the landlord present their cases.  The judge makes a decision and if they rule in favor of the landlord, the tenant has five days to vacate the apartment or file an appeal.  If the judge sides with the tenant, the landlord also has five days to file an appeal.  When you file an appeal, you have to pay an appeal bond or file a 
Pauper's Affidavit if you do not have the funds for an appeal bond.  The appeal process is very complicated, so if that is something you are interested in, the Austin Tenants' Council recommends you contact an attorney.

If a tenant doesn't vacate the apartment or appeal, the landlord will ask the judge for a Writ of Possession, which is a court order telling the constable or sheriff that the landlord is now in possession of the rental unit.  The landlord can now, under the supervision of the constable or sheriff, remove the tenant, occupants and all belongings from the unit.

Eviction is something no future landlord wants to see on your rental history, so you should do your best to avoid it at all costs.  But if you do have an eviction on your record, Austin Apartment Specialists can work with you to try and find an apartment where landlords are more likely to overlook an eviction.