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  • Writer's pictureMark Buskuhl

Tenants Are Behind On Rent in Dallas Fort Worth: What Can You Do?

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

If you are a landlord, collecting rent from your tenants on a regular basis is essential for your income. Unfortunately, there may be occasions when your tenants stop paying rent.

Although this situation can be aggravating and overwhelming, it is crucial to handle it professionally and calmly to avoid potential legal repercussions.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to deal with the situation if your tenants fall behind on their rent payments in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Tenants Are Behind on Rent in Dallas Fort Worth
Tenants Are Behind on Rent in Dallas Fort Worth

Communicate With Your Tenants

To begin, it is crucial to initiate a conversation with your tenants to understand the reason behind their rent delinquency. This may be due to their financial struggles or any unresolved maintenance issues with the property.

While it is important to be empathetic, it is equally crucial to emphasize that paying rent on time is a legal responsibility.

Being a landlord involves making tough decisions at times, and it is important to take action to safeguard your property and financial stability. If the issue persists, it may indicate an underlying problem that requires further action beyond compassion.

Consider Alternative Payment Arrangements

Consider offering alternative payment arrangements if your tenants are unable to pay the full rent amount.

For instance, you could allow them to pay a portion of the rent each month until they catch up. This may be a more viable option than initiating the eviction process, which can be a lengthy, stressful, and costly procedure.

Hire An Attorney

It is important to note that the eviction process in Texas can be complex and time-consuming. It is important to follow the proper legal procedures, and if you are unsure of the requirements or need assistance, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney.

Additionally, landlords should be aware of their responsibilities under state and federal law, such as the Fair Housing Act and the Texas Property Code, to ensure that eviction is carried out in a lawful manner.

If you are unsure of the legal procedures for eviction, or if the situation is particularly complex, it may be helpful to hire a real estate attorney. An attorney can guide you through the process, represent you in court, and ensure that all legal requirements are met.

Send A Written Notice

To begin the eviction process for non-payment of rent, the first and essential step is to issue a 3-day notice to vacate if your tenants have not responded to your previous communication.

This notice must specify the amount of rent due, the payment deadline, and the repercussions of not paying the rent. In the Dallas, Texas region, a 3-Day Notice to Vacate is typically used for non-payment of rent, and the tenant is given three days to either pay the rent or leave the property.

To initiate the eviction process, you must first send the 3-day notice to vacate, which can be sent by certified mail or posted on the property. Your tenants will then have three days to either pay the amount of rent stated in the notice or vacate the property.

Eviction Proceedings

If your tenants do not respond to your written notice or do not make alternative payment arrangements, it may be necessary to start eviction proceedings. In the Dallas, Texas area, the process goes as follows:

  1. Provide written notice: The landlord must provide a written notice to the tenant, usually a 3-Day Notice to Vacate, giving the tenant three days to pay the rent or vacate the property.

  2. File a lawsuit: If the tenant does not pay the rent or vacate the property, the landlord may file a lawsuit in justice court, seeking a court order for eviction.

  3. Serve the tenant with the lawsuit: The tenant must be served with the lawsuit, either in person or by posting the lawsuit on the property and mailing a copy to the tenant.

  4. Tenant’s response: The tenant has the right to respond to the lawsuit, either by contesting the eviction or by failing to respond, which results in a default judgment in favor of the landlord.

  5. Eviction hearing: If the tenant contests the eviction, the case will proceed to a hearing, where the landlord and tenant will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue their case.

  6. Eviction order: If the court finds favor of the landlord, the court will issue an eviction order, giving the tenant a specified amount of time to vacate the property.

  7. Removal of tenant: If the tenant does not vacate the property within the time specified by the eviction order, the landlord may request a writ of possession from the court. A constable or sheriff will then enforce the eviction order by removing the tenant from the property.

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Protect Your Property

To safeguard your property after evicting your tenants, you need to take certain steps such as changing the locks, disposing of any left-behind belongings, and repairing any damages.

Additionally, it is advisable to file for a judgment against your tenants for the outstanding rent amount. This legal action can help you enforce the collection of unpaid rent in the future, especially if the tenants possess assets.

Screen Future Tenants Carefully

To avoid future issues with rent payments, it is important to screen future tenants carefully. This may involve checking their credit reports, verifying their employment and income, and conducting reference checks.

There are many online tenant application portals that landlords can use, sometimes free of charge to screen tenants and select the best option out of their applicants. By being proactive in the tenant selection process, you can reduce the likelihood of rent payment issues in the future.

Sell the Property to a Cash House Buyer with Tenants

If you have a tenant that is a problem and unlikely to leave willingly, it might be in your best interest to sell the property to we buy houses for cash company and let it become someone else’s problem.

It is important when considering this option to make sure that you are transparent with cash home buyers about the situation that is going on in your property.

Experienced cash house buyers allow you to sell a house fast with deadbeat tenants and handle the eviction themselves.

Handing off the eviction to avoid the stressful and time-consuming process is a situation that we buy houses for cash companies deal with frequently and are well equipped to handle.

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In conclusion, dealing with tenants who stop paying rent can be a difficult and stressful situation, but it is important to handle it in a professional and legal manner.

By communicating with your tenants, considering alternative payment arrangements, sending written notices, and then following the proper legal procedures, you can minimize the potential legal consequences and protect your income.

If necessary, hiring an attorney and being proactive in the tenant selection process can also help to reduce the likelihood of rent payment issues in the future.

If you are tired of dealing with your delinquent tenants, consider selling your Dallas, Texas house to we buy houses company.

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