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Can a landlord lock out a tenant in Texas?

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2020 | Property Law

Can you legally lock out a tenant on a 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. Here in Texas, the property code requires you to allow them access back into the unit within 24 hours. So that is really important because then you need to ask yourself, is it worth the expense to lock someone out just to have to provide access within 24 hours. 

You cannot take their belongings and you have to account for everything. You become responsible the moment you enter that property. So it’s important to make a good decision when trying to think about locking someone out. 

According to the Texas Property Code, it is really important that you provide the tenant with a three day notice. How do you provide that? Well, there’s no defined ways to do so, but you have to be able to prove if you ever go to court, that that notice is what’s actually provided to the tenant. 

So one way is to actually go and put it inside the door off the property where they reside. Number two would be to actually send it  to a certified return receipt mail. That way, even if they don’t pick it up, you have proof that it was mailed. You will get that letter back if it’s not picked up. It is not up to you to force the tenant into picking it up. It’s up to you to make sure that they receive it. 

This information is not legal advice.