Texas Supreme Court Says Evictions Can Go Ahead Tuesday. But These Protections Are Still In Place.

May 18, 2020

The Texas Supreme Court is letting its ban on eviction proceedings expire today, meaning that starting tomorrow there is no longer a state ban on a landlord’s ability to evict a tenant.

But some federal and local requirements, specifically in Central Texas, protect renters from eviction for longer — in some cases, well into the summer. While these measures are currently in place, it is possible that the state could supersede or reverse some of these local orders in the future.

Here are some ways Central Texans are protected from eviction right now.

The federal stimulus bill, also known as the CARES Act, halts eviction for some renters until late August.

Landlords renting out homes subsidized by the federal government, financed by a federally-backed mortgage or paid for by low-income tax credits can’t begin evicting tenants until Aug. 24.

But who knows how their apartment or house is paid for? Local groups, including Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and Building And Strengthening Tenant Action (BASTA), have put together a searchable map for tenants in Texas to figure out if they're protected under this federal rule.

Landlords at these complexes also cannot charge tenants late fees or penalize them another way for unpaid rent.

Austin mayoral order stops evictions until late July. And Austinites have a 60-day grace period to pay owed rent.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has ordered that landlords cannot begin the eviction process, which starts with a “notice to vacate” pinned to a tenant’s door, until after July 25. Landlords are also banned from locking renters out of their homes or taking tenants’ personal belongings.

Austin City Council has also passed a measure giving renters 60 days to come up with unpaid rent before their landlord can begin the eviction process. If a tenant does not pay rent, a landlord must first notify tenants of a “proposed eviction.” The renter then has 60 days to come up with rent before the landlord can start the formal eviction process.

San Marcos renters have 90 days to pay owed rent.

San Marcos City Council members voted last month to give renters 90 days to come up with owed rent before a landlord can start an eviction. Much like Austin’s ordinance, a landlord must first let the tenant know of a “proposed eviction.” The tenant then has three months to pay any owed rent, including rent that comes due over that time, before the landlord can start the eviction process.

Travis County judges won’t start hearing evictions until after June 1.

Judges who hear evictions in Travis County suspended hearings until June 2. Eviction court hearings could begin later than this, since some judges say they will need time to print and issue notices.

Got a tip? Email Audrey McGlinchy at audrey@kut.org. Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.

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