Here are answers to several frequently asked questions regarding your lease and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do I Still Need to Pay Rent During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Yes. There have been no laws passed or decrees that freeze rental payments. You are still contractually obligated to make rent payments according to the terms of their lease.
If I am Unable to Pay Rent During this Time, What Should I Do?
You should communicate with the landlord or property manager as soon as possible. Your landlord or property manager may be able to set up a payment plan, waiver, or a rental forbearance if you’re facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Note: The landlord or property manager is under no legal obligation to enter into a payment plan or other modification of the lease.
Can I be Evicted for Failure to Pay Rent?
The latest Texas Supreme Court Order allowed residential eviction proceedings to resume on May 19, and writs of possession to be posted on properties beginning May 26. Some local governments may take action to limit evictions that goes beyond the actions taken by the Texas Supreme Court and the CARES Act. Therefore, it is important for property managers to continue to monitor actions taken by cities and counties relating to evictions. It is important for you to communicate with your landlord as soon as you can to come to an understanding about the payment of rent.
Can I Terminate an Executed Residential Lease due to COVID-19?
No. The Texas REALTORS® residential lease provides that unless otherwise provided by law, you are not entitled to early termination due to voluntary or involuntary job or school transfer, changes in marital status, loss of employment, loss of co-tenants, changes in health, purchase of property, or death. No laws are currently in place that allow you to terminate early due to COVID-19 related reasons. You are encouraged to consult with an attorney if you want to proceed with terminating.