Evicting a tenant is never an easy process. You’ve been through the wringer, from tense conversations and official notices to court appearances.a close up of a piece of paper with a notice of eviction on it

Just when you thought it was over, you’re left staring at the pile of belongings your former tenant left behind. 


From furniture to personal items, it can feel like the eviction process has left you with a second job – professional mover. 


In this article, we’re going to guide you through the legal way to handle these abandoned possessions after eviction in Texas. 


We’ll explain what the law in Texas says you can and cannot do, and provide practical advice to help you navigate this final hurdle. 

How to Legally Handle Tenant Belongings After Eviction

So, you’ve just won an eviction case in court. Congrats, but now you’ve got a new issue at hand. 


What do you do with all those pesky items the tenant left behind? Well, after you receive your Writ of Possession—which usually takes about six days—you must allow 24 hours for the tenant to vacate the property. 


If they leave anything behind, here’s what you can do. 


In accordance with Texas law, you’re allowed to remove all the tenant’s belongings from the property. 


But here’s the catch: you must place them in a public space that’s near the unit. This way, your tenant can retrieve their stuff without any hassle.


Remember, being a landlord also means being respectful of your tenant’s belongings—even if they’ve been evicted. So, handle their stuff carefully and ensure you’re always in line with Texas law.

Limitations to Removing Tenant Belongings After Eviction

As a landlord in Texas, dealing with tenant belongings after eviction can be tricky. It’s not as simple as just piling everything up and hauling it off. 


The law places certain restrictions on how and where you can dispose of a tenant’s belongings. This is to safeguard the tenant’s rights and to prevent possible legal implications down the road. 


Rainy Weather – If it’s raining or there’s a chance of rain, you cannot simply leave the items out in the open. You must store them in a container that the tenant can access. This is to prevent damage to the tenant’s possessions.


Public Access – You cannot place the items in a location where they would block a public sidewalk, entrance, or street. This is to ensure that public access is not hindered.


Remember, these rules exist to protect both you and the tenant. By following them, you’re safeguarding the tenant’s rights and protecting yourself from potential legal issues. 


Always consult with a legal professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of the eviction process.

Do Landlords Ever Have to Store Tenant Belongings?

Despite the common narratives, there are instances in Texas where landlords are obligated to store the belongings of evicted tenants. 


This usually happens when the justice court officer who executes the eviction determines that the circumstances necessitate it. 


In such cases, the landlord is required to hire a warehouseman to remove and store the tenant’s property. 


The tenant, on the other hand, is responsible for the costs incurred in the removal and storage of their property. They must pay the warehouseman a fee to retrieve their belongings. 


While it’s not a common occurrence, Texas law does mandate landlords to store evicted tenants’ belongings under certain conditions for 30 days. It’s crucial for landlords to be aware of this element to avoid potential legal ramifications.

Can a Landlord Sell or Dispose of Tenant Belongings After Eviction?

After 30 days of storing the tenant’s belongings, a landlord or warehouseman in Texas may begin the process of selling or disposing of these items if the tenant hasn’t fulfilled the obligations to retrieve them.


This regulation is designed to offset the costs incurred by a landlord or warehouseman related to the storage and safekeeping of left-behind possessions. 


However, keep in mind that you are required to send a notice to the tenant, detailing the intent to dispose of the property if it’s not claimed within the stipulated time frame. 

Legal Consequences of Mishandling Tenant Belongings

If a landlord mishandles tenant belongings after an eviction, the tenant may file a lawsuit against the landlord for damages. The tenant may be entitled to compensation for the value of the lost or damaged items.


Landlords disposing of tenant belongings without following the proper legal procedures may face criminal charges. In Texas, it is illegal for a landlord to dispose of a tenant’s belongings without first providing written notice and allowing the tenant a reasonable amount of time to retrieve their belongings.


Landlords who mishandle tenant belongings after an eviction may also face negative publicity and damage to their reputation. This can make it difficult for them to attract new tenants and may result in financial losses.

Avoid Evictions and Terrible Tenants with Residential Leasing & Management

Evictions are never a pleasant experience for either the landlord or the tenant. They’re time-consuming, stressful, and often costly. As a landlord, your primary focus should be on generating income from your properties, not dealing with difficult tenants and the ensuing legal battles. 


So, how can you avoid this mess and ensure a smooth operation? The answer lies in professional property management services, like those offered by Residential Leasing & Management


When you work with a property management company, you get to enjoy the financial benefits of property ownership without the headaches that come with handling evictions and tenants’ assets.


Residential Leasing & Management has a thorough tenant screening process to ensure high-quality tenants live in your rental property. Plus, routine inspections confirm tenants are abiding by the lease. 


Stop worrying about potential evictions and start enjoying the revenue from your hard-earned investment with Residential Leasing & Management. 


Request a free rental analysis to see how much you can rent your property for each month now!