There are a number of reasons landlords in San Antonio can evict their tenants, and the most common reason is nonpayment of rent. If you have a tenant who isn’t paying, you can finally go to court and begin the process of regaining possession of your property. All eviction bans in Texas have been lifted, including the federal moratorium, and landlords are free to pursue the legal process of removing tenants when they don’t pay rent.
Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
Serving San Antonio Tenants with a Notice to Vacate
There are slightly different procedures and timelines depending on the reasons for your eviction. The most common reason to evict a tenant in San Antonio is for nonpayment of rent. If a tenant is violating the lease, you can usually talk about it and bring that tenant into compliance. With nonpayment of rent, however, time is of the essence. You don’t want to waste weeks negotiating to get the rent paid. It’s best to serve the notice and work from there.
The written Notice to Vacate must be served to your tenants before you can file any lawsuit in court to have the tenant removed. The notice itself is not complicated. It should state the fact that rent is late and the tenant must either catch up with rent or vacate the property. Include the amount that’s due and the deadline for payment in full before the eviction process moves forward.
Serving the Notice to Vacate
While the terminology isn’t complicated, there are legal implications to the service and delivery of your Notice to Vacate.
Make sure you document the method of service you choose, including the time and date the notice was delivered. This will matter if the case goes to court.
You can choose one of these ways to serve your tenants:
- Physically hand the Notice to Vacate to someone at the property who is at least 16 years of age. Document that you’ve done this with a signature or a witness or a photograph.
- Tape or affix the Notice to Vacate to the inside of the front door (not a screen door). You can do this if no one answers the door while you’re trying to serve it in person. When you post the notice, make sure you mail a copy as well.
- Send the Notice to Vacate through the mail. You don’t have to use certified mail, but it’s a good way to document that it was delivered. Again, take pictures and note the date and time that you mailed the notice.
Once you have properly served your Notice to Vacate, the tenant has three days to respond. Usually, you’ll get your tenant’s attention and receive your rent in full. If not, you’ll need to take the next steps in filing for an eviction in court. Go to the courthouse, where the clerk will provide the required documents for filing and collect a fee.
San Antonio Evictions and the Courts
Once the date for the hearing has been set, you’ll have to prepare for court. We recommend you consult with an experienced eviction attorney or a San Antonio property manager who can help you navigate the process. You’ll need a copy of your lease agreement, a copy of the notice you served and any other correspondence, and your accounting that shows rent has not been paid.
The judge will make a decision based upon what is heard during the eviction hearing. When the judgment favors you and the tenant is evicted, they will have five days to vacate the property.
We can help you work through the eviction process, and we can also help you prevent it. For assistance and questions, please contact us at OmniKey Realty. We work with rental property owners in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and surrounding areas in Dallas County, Collin County, and Houston County.