The Texas Property Code can be confusing for many owners and investors, and we’re talking about it today. Our plan is to start a series on the different key points of landlord and tenant relations and property management as it relates to the property code. Today, we’re going to focus on two topics: Three Day Notices and locking out a tenant.
Property Management Houston: Locking Out a TenantOne of the key questions you may be asking is - can you legally lock a tenant out of their unit when they owe rent? The answer is yes and no. Yes, you can do it, but it has to be for a very short period. The property code requires you to allow them access back into the unit within 24 hours. So you need to decide whether it’s worth the expense and time to lock someone out just to have to provide access within 24 hours. During that period, you cannot take their belongings, and you become responsible for everything as soon as you enter that unit. We don’t ever practice this. We don’t want to be responsible and we don’t want to have to return and give them a new key. So, my recommendation is not to lock people out. Whatever you decide, you must understand you have to let them back in. This is critical.
Property Management Houston: Three Day NoticeWhen a tenant doesn’t pay rent, it’s important that you provide a Three Day Notice. You can do this a number of ways, but you must be able to prove that the notice was provided if you go to court. One way is to put the notice inside the door of the property where they reside. Or, you can send a notice via certified return receipt mail so that even if they don’t pick it up, you have proof that it was mailed. You can also hand deliver the notice. Generally, these are the best ways to send it that are provable if you ever have to show you did it in court. Provide this notice once the tenants are delinquent because without it, you cannot file an eviction.
We will share more information on the Property Code in Texas in future blogs. In the meantime, if you have any questions about Houston property management, please contact us at ELDA Management Services, Inc.