The eviction process can feel overwhelming, especially if your tenant refuses to comply after winning your eviction case. If your tenant will not vacate the premises voluntarily, you have the right to pursue a writ of possession.
What Is a Writ of Possession?
A writ of possession is a court order that allows a landlord to take back their property by force. If the tenant doesn’t move within a set number of days, the tenant’s property will be removed from the premises by law enforcement.
Writ of Possession Laws in Texas
In Texas, specific laws govern the use of these writs. For example, a writ of possession can’t be issued until six days have passed after the eviction judgment. This gives your tenant six days to vacate the premises before you obtain a writ.
By law, the officer carrying out the writ of possession is allowed to:
- Post a written warning: The officer will post a written warning on the exterior of the front door of the unit to notify the tenant of the writ. The tenant will be given 24 hours from the date of the notice to vacate the premises.
- Execute the writ: The officer will deliver possession of the premises to the landlord. They will instruct the tenant to leave the premises immediately. If the tenant fails to comply with the order, the officer will physically remove them. The landlord will then have access to the tenant’s property so that they may remove it.
All personal property left by the tenant must be placed outside the rental unit. If the specific municipality feels it necessary, they can provide the tenant a portable container to store their belongings in. Yet, if the tenant does not recover the property in a reasonable amount of time, the municipality can dispose of it.
As a landlord, you have options for taking back your property. Yet, if you feel these additional steps are necessary, we recommend reaching out to an attorney for help.