TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Landlords in Travis County can resume filing eviction notices today for some tenants who are behind on rent. As of Tuesday, June 1, landlords will not be prohibited from filing a notice of eviction for tenants facing five or more months of unpaid rent and have “exhausted all rental assistance remedies.”
Per the order, “exhausted” means that all applications for all available rental assistance remedies have been denied or are still pending 45 days. Those remedies include:
- Travis County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program
- City of Austin’s Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program
- State of Texas Rent Relief Program
Katherine Smart is on the verge of selling her car to make ends meet. She’s a landlord and says the tenant who rents her Travis County property owes her more than $7,000.
“I had to get a loan to pay the mortgage and just to keep up,” Smart said.
Tuesday, Smart filed a notice of eviction.
“I really don’t know if I’ll be able to get her out and I still haven’t gotten any of the money I lost back,” Smart said.
Once a notice is filed, it still has to go through several steps in local courts.
Click here to see Steps of Evictions in Travis County
“Right now, even if you receive a notice to vacate, that’s just a first part of a process of getting an eviction through the courts into a writ of possession for example. That does not happen immediately and there is going to be a backlog,” Emily Blair of the Austin Apartment Association explained. “In a perfect world it sometimes takes 21 days to go through that process on average.”
Blair says there’s still exit pathways even after getting a notice to vacate. She says communication between tenants and landlords is key.
“If you haven’t been in touch with your rental housing provider or hesitated to do so, we would encourage you to do that now. There are going to be some timelines that are going to be starting,” Blair explained. “You may receive a 60-day notice of proposed eviction, for example, and that gives you a couple of months to work with your rental housing provider to pursue those remedies. After that, the landlord has to wait 45 days to obtain that rental assistance they’ve applied for on your behalf.”
The CDC extended the federal eviction moratorium and the Austin Apartment Association says this covers renters through June 30.
The City of Austin says landlords who issue a notice to vacate can submit proof to a presiding judge indicating they have registered with the City of Austin’s RENT program or another rental assistance program. Landlords must register as a landlord on the RENT application portal. They must also complete and submit the Eviction Prevention Application.