Landlord-Tenant

Will a New Texas Lease Law Help Mitigate Human Trafficking?

texas commercial lease termination prostitution human traffickingA landlord who reasonably believes that a tenant operating under a commercial lease is using the premises, or allowing the premises to be used, for prostitution, the promotion of prostitution, compelling prostitution, or for human trafficking may file suit to obtain possession of the premises and unpaid rent.

The landlord in such a situation does not have to give (1) notice of proposed eviction or notice of termination before giving the required notice to vacate; or (2) more than three days’ notice to vacate before filing suit.

Texas already allows termination of a commercial or residential lease based upon a public indecency conviction. But now in some situations a landlord may obtain possession of commercial premises based on belief and without a criminally adjudicated determination or finding.

This new law, codified in Texas Property Code section 93.013, applies to all commercial leases entered into or renewed after August 31, 2017.

It does not apply to residential leases.

Change in Foreclosure Sale Dates

Texas public foreclosure auctionPublic foreclosure sales in Texas currently take place on the first Tuesday of the month.

Under a new law effective September 2017, foreclosure auctions in the months of January and July will instead occur on the first Wednesday of those months if the first Tuesday falls on January 1 or July 4.

All public foreclosure sales must take place between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

Writs of Possession in Three Sentences

A writ is a written court order that commands the person to whom it is directed to perform, or refrain from performing, a specified act.

texas writ of possession

A writ of possession is a command often directed to a peace officer to remove people or items from property, or to dispossess people of property, and to deliver possession to another person.

Writs of possession may be issued in eviction cases, trespass to try title lawsuits, eminent domain actions, and other legal proceedings.

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

The Family Violence Victim’s Right to Break a Lease

texas landlord tenant family violence residential leaseTexas Property Code section 92.016 allows a family violence victim to break a residential lease without incurring liability, under prescribed circumstances.

The victim may break the lease regardless of whether the offender occupies the leased premises with the victim.

The victim’s right to terminate the lease, vacate the dwelling, and avoid liability cannot be waived.

Look here for a short Q&A on the subject by The Texas Legal Services Center & Texas Partnership for Legal Access.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

 

Denied Access to Personal Property in Your Residence/Former Residence?

texas denied access residence retrieve personal propertyThis issue often arises in the common property, landlord-tenant, family law, and foreclosure arenas.

 

A person who has been denied access to his or her residence or former residence may apply to a Texas Justice Court for an order authorizing access to retrieve personal property under Chapter 24A of the Texas Property Code.

The applicant must:

  1. certify that the occupant of the residence has denied the applicant access to the residence;
  2. certify that the applicant is not prohibited by law (including a protective order) from entering the residence;
  3. allege that the applicant, or the applicant’s dependent, requires one or more of the following personal items contained in the residence: (a) medical records; (b) medicine and medical supplies; (c) clothing; (d) child-care items; (e) legal or financial documents; (f) checks or bank or credit cards in the name of the applicant; (g) employment records; or (h) personal identification documents;
  4. allege that the applicant or the applicant’s dependent will suffer personal harm if the items listed in the application are not retrieved promptly;
  5. include documentation that shows the applicant is currently, or was formerly, authorized to occupy the residence; and
  6. execute a bond payable to the occupant in an amount set by the judge.

The Justice Court may issue an order authorizing the applicant to enter the residence accompanied by a peace officer to retrieve the property listed in the application (a) on sufficient evidence of urgency and potential harm to the health and safety of any person; and (b) after sufficient notice to the current occupant and an opportunity for both parties to be heard by the Court.

What happens if the order is granted but the applicant takes personal property that isn’t expressly permitted by the  order or that isn’t owned by the applicant?

Stay tuned!

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

Some Changes to Texas Landlord-Tenant Law

texas senate bill landlord tenant lawEnrolled Senate Bill 1367 brings some changes to Texas landlord-tenant law.

First, it allows a landlord under some situations to attach a notice to vacate to the exterior of the rental premise’s main entry door.

Second, it changes the penalty a tenant may seek from a landlord who willfully violates residential landlord lien law.

Third, it disallows residential landlords and tenants from waiving the tenant’s right to a jury trial.

Finally, it changes and clarifies some aspects of the law related to security deposits.

See the enrolled bill here.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Texas Agricultural Landlord’s Lien

This is the fourth and final article covering Texas landlord’s liens. The previous three posts are here, here, and here.

texas agricultural landlord's lienWhat is an agricultural landlord’s lien? One who leases land has a lien “for rent that becomes due and for the money and the value of property that the landlord furnishes…to the tenant to grow a crop on the [land] and to gather, store, and prepare the crop for marketing.”

To what does the lien attach? With notable exceptions not discussed here, the lien generally attaches to the (a) property on the leased premises that the landlord furnishes to the tenant to grow a crop; and (b) crop grown on the land in the year that the rent accrues or the land is furnished.

Does the agricultural lien always arise or exist? No. The lien may or may not arise depending on (a) whether the landlord or tenant furnishes the labor and materials to grow the crop; and (b) how much rent is charged by the landlord in proportion to the value of the grain and cotton grown on the land.

How long does the lien exist? Generally, “the lien exists while the property to which it is attached remains on the leased premises and until one month after the day that the property is removed from the premises.”

May a delinquent, agricultural tenant remove the crop subjected to the lien? No, not without the landlord’s consent.

What if the delinquent tenant removes the crop without the landlord’s consent? If the crop is removed by the tenant in preparation for market, the landlord’s lien will continue to exist on the removed crop.

What can a landlord do if s/he has good cause to believe that the delinquent tenant is about to remove the crop or abandon the premises? The landlord can ask a Justice of the Peace to order law enforcement to seize the property.

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.