Eviction Process Begins Again This Month in Texas
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s team of housing attorneys received more than triple the requests for landlord/tenant-related assistance this May compared to that of 2019, according to Equal Justice Works fellow Eva Sikes.
“In June, we’re already at 75 percent of the requests we got for the whole month of June 2019 — and we’re not through the month yet,” she said.
The increases weren’t necessarily filings of evictions and also included tenants requesting legal assistance related to their tenancy. Those requests include tenants dealing with informal evictions — where landlords perform lockouts or fail to issue a notice to vacate according to the procedure.
The bill mandated that landlords with Freddie Mac or Fannie May-sourced loans and mortgages could not perform any evictions for nonpayment of rent, could not increase rent, and could not charge late fees, said Crystal Moya, a member of the Texas Apartment Association’s executive board.
According to Moya, many eviction courts in Texas are still closed or just opened recently, meaning eviction filings are just getting started. This might mean eviction courts will see a surge before the federal moratorium lifting at the end of next month.
“We ask our managers and owners to work closely with residents as liaisons and to be the point of contact for tenants because some of them don’t have the resources. Maybe they don’t have the internet; maybe they don’t have a computer — utilizing the front office to help them is a great first step.”