Renters Prepare for Tough Choices as Eviction Proceedings Resume in Texas

May 19, 2020

The number of people who could be impacted by lifting the eviction moratoriums is not known because there’s no data available yet to understand who is covered by the patchwork of regulations existing in the state. 

Renters at risk of being evicted have to make a tough decision: either leave on their own and try to find housing with limited or no money, or spending money fighting the eviction through a complicated legal process. 

If they don’t leave on their own — or if they fight and still lose — they could end up having an eviction record that could damage their credit score.

Starting Tuesday, tenants will only be protected from evictions in specific cities and counties that have their moratoriums. Some of these places include Bexar, Dallas, and Travis counties.  

In places that don’t have their moratoriums, eviction trials can resume May 26. An average process can last a month. 

“We expect some landlords with federally related mortgages who are covered will file in violation of the CARES Act. Thus, tenants must not assume that they do not live in a covered property if they are served with an eviction lawsuit. Depending on the docket of the county court at law and how quickly the landlord sets the matter for hearing, the case may remain pending for a few months. This is quite complicated and almost impossible to navigate without an attorney. There are too many traps for the unwary,” said Fred Fuchs, an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

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