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How not to lose your eviction cases

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The head of a wooden gavel rests on top of a small model of a white, two-story house.

05/30/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff

Judge Al Cercone has presided over thousands of eviction suits in his 22 years as justice of the peace for Precinct 3-1 in Dallas County. Here’s his advice for landlords and property managers. 

How to prevent evictions in the first place
Two things can help you avoid many eviction proceedings before you hand over the keys:

  1. A clear and unambiguous contract and
  2. Thorough tenant-screening practices.

"If you screen tenants and look for red flags—instead of just filling your property with a warm body—you won't find yourself involved in as many eviction proceedings," Judge Al Cercone says. 

Know who you're dealing with
Evictions are handled by the justice of the peace court for the precinct where the property is located regardless of the dollar amount.

Follow the correct procedure
To evict a tenant, you must first deliver the notice to vacate in one of three ways:

  • By mail. Doesn’t have to be a certified letter.
  • In person. Deliver it to someone who is at least 16 years old.
  • By posting it. Attach the notice to the inside of the main entry door.

Tell them why they have to leave
The notice to vacate must include your reason for seeking possession of the property. This could either be because of a breach of the contract or a lawful reason. If there are multiple reasons, Cercone says you may want to reserve at least one in case you lose your first eviction attempt and want to try again.

There's much more to know
Read all of Judge Cercone’s tips about the eviction process in “Before you take your tenants to court …” from the May issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine. 

Categories: Legal, Landlords
Tags: property management, leasing, renters, evictions, legal, tenants

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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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