When it comes to evicting tenants, each state enforces its own laws and regulations. One little deviation by the landlord in the official eviction process could leave them stuck with a bad tenant while wasting time and money.Learn major eviction mistakes to avoid in Houston.

Evictions in Houston are no exception. Landlords with rental properties in Houston should brush up on local eviction law and learn some of the biggest eviction mistakes to avoid before starting the eviction process. 


Let’s face it; no landlord wants to go through with evicting a tenant. It’s much easier to resolve the issue with the tenant and let them continue with their lease. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. 


When you’re forced to get the law involved, it’s important to avoid these common eviction mistakes to ensure you get your property back. 

What is an Eviction? 

An eviction occurs when a tenant breaches a lease, and the landlord forces them to leave the property. 


Oftentimes, evictions are enforced when a tenant does not pay rent. The landlord will notify the tenant of eviction, file a lawsuit with the state if the tenant has not paid rent, present evidence to evict, and let the court decide whether to evict or not. 


Depending on the state and the amount of cases waiting, evicting a tenant could take months. So, during this time, you want to avoid making a common eviction mistake.

Eviction Mistakes to Avoid in Houston

When it comes to filing an eviction in Houston, there are specific laws and regulations landlords must follow. One mistake in the eviction process and it could cost you the right to evict a bad tenant. 

Failing to Give Proper Notice

The act that kicks off the eviction process is notifying the tenant that you intend to evict them. This isn’t a simple text message or phone call. 


A proper eviction notice must contain the following information:

  • Tenant name
  • Property address
  • Reason for eviction
  • Date of notice
  • Deadline for remedying the situation
  • Amount owed (if the tenant failed to pay rent)
  • Landlord’s signature


The notice must also be delivered in a means where the tenant will receive it. For example, posting the eviction notice on the tenant’s front door, sending the notice via certified mail, or delivery by the sheriff or personal service. 


In Texas, the notice to evict must be presented at least three days before the landlord starts the process. If the tenant pays the amount owed within these three days, they may stay in the property. 


However, according to the CARES Act, if the property has a federally-backed mortgage or is part of a federal program, then the landlord must present the notice at least 30 days before filing the lawsuit.

Filing an Eviction Suit Before Giving Notice

There is a strict timeline of events when evicting a tenant in Houston. Landlords are obligated to provide notice of eviction to the tenant at least three days before filing an eviction suit with the state. 


Filing the eviction suit before giving notice will terminate the eviction process. 

Shutting Off UtilitiesHouston landlords cannot shut off utilities during the eviction process

It is illegal for landlords to shut off utilities when tenants are still living in their property, even when they are going through the eviction process. 


Landlords still have the responsibility to provide a habitable property. Forcing tenants out by shutting off the electricity, gas, or water can terminate the eviction lawsuit. 


Changing the locks or removing the tenant’s belongings from the property is also illegal.

No Legal Cause

A landlord cannot file an eviction simply because they want the tenant to leave or they don’t like them. 


There must be a legal cause for filing the eviction. The most common cause of eviction is failure to pay rent. 

Failure to Collect Evidence

One of the most important steps in the eviction process is presenting the case to a judge in court. During this hearing, the landlord will provide any and all evidence justifying the right to evict the tenant and to prove they followed the eviction timeline. 


Evidence that should be presented includes:

  • Formal eviction notice to tenant
  • Evidence of lease breach
  • Communication between landlord and tenant about the breach and eviction
  • Photos of property damage 
  • Signed lease 


Gather as much evidence as possible to strongly present your case and successfully evict your tenant. 

Not Seeking Professional Assistance and Guidance

Evictions are long and costly processes. In many cases, landlords will work to avoid them and offer tenants other options, such as cash-for-keys or to remedy the situation between themselves. 


Whether you decide to go through the eviction or not, you must seek professional assistance or advice from an eviction lawyer or Houston property manager to avoid major mistakes. 


Asking a real estate expert to review your case and advise you on whether to proceed with an eviction or an alternative solution could be your saving grace in the situation. 


If proceeding with the eviction, hiring an eviction lawyer to represent your case in court is always a good idea. They will ensure your eviction complies with the law’s processes and assist with gathering evidence. 

Avoid Nasty Evictions in Houston with Residential Leasing & Management

While evictions seem to simply come along with being a landlord, they are absolutely avoidable. 


When you hire a professional and experienced property management company like Residential Leasing & Management to take care of your property, you can avoid evictions while increasing ROI. 


With over 40 years of experience maintaining and managing Houston rental properties, Residential Leasing & Management has perfected the tenant screening process to ensure only the highest quality responsible tenants rent from their owners. 


This means on-time payments, no property damage, and tenants who care about your property. 

Are you ready to be eviction-free in Houston? Request a free rental analysis to get started!