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General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Need to Evict Tenant

Prajita Niraula
Posted Jan 28 2023, 14:34

Hello,

I am renting our extra room in my prinary residence in Texas. One of my tenants hasn’t paid anything for last two months. I have tried to communicate with her multiple times. At first she used to ignore my call and text messages. Then she told me she had sent some portion of money by zelle and gave a confirmation number, turns out the confirmation number was fake. Then I was told that she would visit me a day after her payday and make the full payment. She never showed up and is ignoring my calls and text messages now. What do I do? I do not have experience with eviction so any suggestions is highly appreciated. Thank you in advance! 

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Will Fraser
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Will Fraser
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Replied Jan 28 2023, 16:46

Hi @Prajita Niraula, welcome to the BiggerPockets forums!  I'm sorry that such a burdensome situation brings you here, but nonetheless you're surrounded by the best!


The way to play this depends on a few things.  

First, do you have a written lease with this person?

Second, did you do a background screening for this person?

Third, have you served them an official notice to quit, or notice to pay, or notice to pay or vacate?

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 28 2023, 16:53

Thank you so much, @Will Fraser
I do have a written lease with this person. However, I did not do a background screening. I haven't yet sent an official notice. I have sent multiple emails as a notice to pay; however, I haven't sent an official eviction notice. Should that be my next step now? 

Also, I now recognize my mistake in not carrying out background screening. What software would you recommend for someone just renting out the extra rooms in the house? 

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Joehn B.
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Joehn B.
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Replied Jan 28 2023, 17:45

Give her the notice in writing.  I found this form by googling "Texas Eviction Notice"

https://ipropertymanagement.co...

I am confused.  you rented her a room in your home but you don't see her?  is she not there or you don't live in the same house?

btw welcome to biggerpockets and congrats on househacking your homestead!  

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Replied Jan 28 2023, 18:04

I had to evict someone who was renting my upstairs in Texas. I told them to GTFO and to leave their TV as compensation since I had in the lease that I could take collateral on unpaid rent (cannot be essential items). The next day they were out.  They were young, dumb, and did not raise a fuss about any kind of formal 30 day notice and what not. They could have legally staid longer but I wasn't going to let them unless they tried legal jujitsu... which again they were young and dumb. 

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 28 2023, 18:08
Quote from @Joehn B.:

Give her the notice in writing.  I found this form by googling "Texas Eviction Notice"

https://ipropertymanagement.co...

I am confused.  you rented her a room in your home but you don't see her?  is she not there or you don't live in the same house?

btw welcome to biggerpockets and congrats on househacking your homestead!  

 Thank you so much! 

I am still in the house. She hasn't come home either. 

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 28 2023, 18:09
Quote from @Travis Reed:

I had to evict someone who was renting my upstairs in Texas. I told them to GTFO and to leave their TV as compensation since I had in the lease that I could take collateral on unpaid rent (cannot be essential items). The next day they were out.  They were young, dumb, and did not raise a fuss about any kind of formal 30 day notice and what not. They could have legally staid longer but I wasn't going to let them unless they tried legal jujitsu... which again they were young and dumb. 


Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I will give this a try as well. 

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Eliott Elias#3 BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat Contributor
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Eliott Elias#3 BRRRR - Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat Contributor
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Replied Jan 28 2023, 22:30

You live in the same house and are texting her about this? DM me separately and ask what I would do. 

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Nathan Gesner
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Nathan Gesner
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ModeratorReplied Jan 29 2023, 05:30
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:

She's not leaving because you don't pose a serious threat to her. You keep texting, she keeps ignoring you, so you text some more. You need to take it seriously.

1. Confirm her belongings are still in her room and she hasn't abandoned.

2. Post written notice on her door, and send a copy to her email/text. Notify her that she has 48 hours to remove all personal belongings and vacate the home or you will consider the room abandoned and dispose of everything.

3. If she leaves, you are done. If she doesn't, remove her belongings. If there's anything of value, lock it up in a storage unit, send her notice, and don't give it back until she pays everything owed, including moving and storage expenses. If she doesn't pay what is owed in 30 days, auction the storage unit off (Storage Auctions .com is a good website with instructions).

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Bob Stevens
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Bob Stevens
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Replied Jan 29 2023, 05:33
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:

Hello,

I am renting our extra room in my prinary residence in Texas. One of my tenants hasn’t paid anything for last two months. I have tried to communicate with her multiple times. At first she used to ignore my call and text messages. Then she told me she had sent some portion of money by zelle and gave a confirmation number, turns out the confirmation number was fake. Then I was told that she would visit me a day after her payday and make the full payment. She never showed up and is ignoring my calls and text messages now. What do I do? I do not have experience with eviction so any suggestions is highly appreciated. Thank you in advance! 


 Call your attorney, and then HIRE A PM CO, 

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Mike Kostner
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Mike Kostner
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Replied Jan 29 2023, 08:56

@Bob Stevens a PM for a spare bedroom? Good luck with that.

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Bob Stevens
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Bob Stevens
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Replied Jan 29 2023, 11:21
Quote from @Mike Kostner:

@Bob Stevens a PM for a spare bedroom? Good luck with that.


 Sorry missed that part,, 

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 29 2023, 12:00
Quote from @Nathan Gesner:
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:

She's not leaving because you don't pose a serious threat to her. You keep texting, she keeps ignoring you, so you text some more. You need to take it seriously.

1. Confirm her belongings are still in her room and she hasn't abandoned.

2. Post written notice on her door, and send a copy to her email/text. Notify her that she has 48 hours to remove all personal belongings and vacate the home or you will consider the room abandoned and dispose of everything.

3. If she leaves, you are done. If she doesn't, remove her belongings. If there's anything of value, lock it up in a storage unit, send her notice, and don't give it back until she pays everything owed, including moving and storage expenses. If she doesn't pay what is owed in 30 days, auction the storage unit off (Storage Auctions .com is a good website with instructions).


 Thank you so much! 

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Bruce Woodruff
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Bruce Woodruff
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Replied Jan 29 2023, 12:11
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:
I am still in the house. She hasn't come home either. 
Change the locks in case this gets nasty....

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 29 2023, 12:12
Quote from @Bruce Woodruff:
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:
I am still in the house. She hasn't come home either. 
Change the locks in case this gets nasty....

 Can I legally change the locks without sending an eviction notice in Texas?

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Bruce Woodruff
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Bruce Woodruff
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Replied Jan 29 2023, 12:34
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:
Quote from @Bruce Woodruff:
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:
I am still in the house. She hasn't come home either. 
Change the locks in case this gets nasty....

 Can I legally change the locks without sending an eviction notice in Texas?


Yes with some conditions. She has already missed rent payments. Text her the notice and do it, she can call you to get in if she needs to. Read below....

https://guides.sll.texas.gov/l...

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 29 2023, 18:17
Quote from @Bruce Woodruff:
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:
Quote from @Bruce Woodruff:
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:
I am still in the house. She hasn't come home either. 
Change the locks in case this gets nasty....

 Can I legally change the locks without sending an eviction notice in Texas?


Yes with some conditions. She has already missed rent payments. Text her the notice and do it, she can call you to get in if she needs to. Read below....

https://guides.sll.texas.gov/l...

Thank you so much!! 

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Lawrence Potts
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Lawrence Potts
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Replied Jan 29 2023, 19:36

@Prajita Niraula,

I agree, she doesn’t think you are serious. It’s a battle of alpha/beta dominance animal **** right now. You won’t confront her and she’s walking all over you even though you’re the landlord. She doesn’t respect your house or your business.

That’s the problem, you are not respecting this as a business. If you were a PM and this was a client’s property you were managing, I guarantee this would be played out differently by you. So why is it different when it is your property?

Now I would 100% agree and seek an attorney if you do not understand your Texas landlord/tenant laws. But you both signed a lease that tells you how to perform and execute if this happens. So you have to follow your lease rules. But understand your state laws. You could hire an attorney for a consultation in what to do.

But if you do not take this seriously like a business, you’ll forever run into this problem. And you have to make that clear upfront before you let anyone else sign another lease. Set the expectation of how you want your business to run to your tenant up front and it’ll help mitigate these issues.

This is a great learning experience for you! Now you know, you’ll figure it out, and you’ll be better for it. Take these opportunities and remember them, they’ll help make better decisions in the future 👍 best of luck! It could have been worse, but I think you’ll handle it fine. Let us know how this plays out.

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Replied Jan 29 2023, 19:49

@Lawrence Potts Brilliantly said!

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 29 2023, 21:13
Quote from @Lawrence Potts:

@Prajita Niraula,

I agree, she doesn’t think you are serious. It’s a battle of alpha/beta dominance animal **** right now. You won’t confront her and she’s walking all over you even though you’re the landlord. She doesn’t respect your house or your business.

That’s the problem, you are not respecting this as a business. If you were a PM and this was a client’s property you were managing, I guarantee this would be played out differently by you. So why is it different when it is your property?

Now I would 100% agree and seek an attorney if you do not understand your Texas landlord/tenant laws. But you both signed a lease that tells you how to perform and execute if this happens. So you have to follow your lease rules. But understand your state laws. You could hire an attorney for a consultation in what to do.

But if you do not take this seriously like a business, you’ll forever run into this problem. And you have to make that clear upfront before you let anyone else sign another lease. Set the expectation of how you want your business to run to your tenant up front and it’ll help mitigate these issues.

This is a great learning experience for you! Now you know, you’ll figure it out, and you’ll be better for it. Take these opportunities and remember them, they’ll help make better decisions in the future 👍 best of luck! It could have been worse, but I think you’ll handle it fine. Let us know how this plays out.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your reply. This is denfinitely going to be such a good learning experience. Even the discussions here have helped me realize what I can do different next time for both me and my tenants to have a pleasant experience. I will consult with an attorney and I will definitely post all the updates so that this can be a learning opportunity for others in the same boat as well. 

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Jay Thomas
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Replied Jan 30 2023, 05:56

It is important to follow the laws and procedures when it comes to evicting someone from a rental property in Texas. Real Estate law requires that a landlord give an eviction notice in writing, so be sure to use a legally-sound form like the one you can find by googling "Texas Eviction Notice". Doing so will ensure that your legal rights as a landlord are protected.

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Jan 30 2023, 07:22
Quote from @Jay Thomas:

It is important to follow the laws and procedures when it comes to evicting someone from a rental property in Texas. Real Estate law requires that a landlord give an eviction notice in writing, so be sure to use a legally-sound form like the one you can find by googling "Texas Eviction Notice". Doing so will ensure that your legal rights as a landlord are protected.


 Thank you so much!

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Will Fraser
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Will Fraser
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Replied Jan 31 2023, 09:14
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:

Thank you so much, @Will Fraser
I do have a written lease with this person. However, I did not do a background screening. I haven't yet sent an official notice. I have sent multiple emails as a notice to pay; however, I haven't sent an official eviction notice. Should that be my next step now? 

Also, I now recognize my mistake in not carrying out background screening. What software would you recommend for someone just renting out the extra rooms in the house? 


 Yes indeed, a formal notice to . . . quit, pay, vacate, etc . . . would be the next right step.

You could also see what other lease clauses apply to the situation.  For instance, if the tenant abandons property there are certain stipulations that come into play.  Conversely if the tenant stays over adversely after a lease ends, that is a different situation.  So, in light of your lease you may get clarity on the right direction to go.

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Feb 4 2023, 16:46

Update: I gave her the eviction notice. Told me she would vacate once the weather improves here in Texas. I waited till the weather improved. Then she told me she would come after she finished work at 5:00 pm. I waited and she did not show up so when I asked her what time she is coming, she said she needs to stay at work till 7:30 and cannot make it as her work is 2 hrs 30 mins away. 

Honestly, it feels like one excuse after another. It's getting really frustrating for me. 

It's been more than 3 days of providing the eviction notice. Is my next step to go to court? 

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Replied Feb 5 2023, 07:42
Quote from @Prajita Niraula:

Honestly, it feels like one excuse after another. It's getting really frustrating for me. 

It's been more than 3 days of providing the eviction notice. Is my next step to go to court? 

Yep. She's playing you like an old deck of cards. Until you take charge of your property this will continue because she's in charge. Do you want this to still be going on a year from now or longer? I'd get her out and while it's vacant sell it. You're not really cut out for this business....sorry, just being honest.

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Prajita Niraula
Replied Feb 7 2023, 18:26

Update: She vacated. We gave her an ultimatum as everyone suggested. We have definitely learned a lot from this experience.Thank you so much for all your suggestions.