Can my landlord refuse rent and then evict me?

UPDATED: May 29, 2012

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Can my landlord refuse rent and then evict me?

I tried to pay my landlord a week ago but he would not accept it. What happened was that a friend was going to pay the rent but he didn’t make it to town. I asked my landlord if I could pay the following weekend and at first he said yes. Then he called me later that day being rude and told me that would did not accept the money because I am unemployed. He texted me yesterday, a week later, and told me that I have until tomorrow to get my things out of the house. He also said that he is coming with his truck and trailer to move my things out. There are no kind of legal papers for anything. No eviction. He is trying to force me out and rented the house to someone else while I still live here. Is that legal?

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most landlords will have a lease agreement.  If you signed one, then the agreement will control.... which means his rights and timing for evicting you will be set out in that agreement.  Once a landlord has obtained the right to evict a tenant, they must use proper eviction procedures.   Saying "get out" and a strong text message aren't enough to comply with these eviction procedures.  If your landlord comes with a truck, call the local law enforcement for a civil standby and require him to produce paperwork of a proper eviction.  Failure to do so can result in civil, and potentially criminal, liability it he tries to scoop up your belongings without your permission.  You may also want to check out the State Bar of Texas and Attorney General websites.  Both offer free online handbooks regarding the rights of tenants.

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