The commercial lease eviction and residential lease eviction processes in Texas are similar. Yet, a commercial eviction will affect more than a single tenant. Often, commercial properties include office buildings, retail establishments and other places of business.
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to handle the eviction process lawfully to protect your rights and the wellbeing of your commercial tenants.
Understanding the Texas Lockout Law
Texas law allows landlords to change the locks on a commercial property to communicate late rental payments. You’re able to lock tenants out of a commercial property if three factors are met:
- If the tenant owes rent, your lease allows a lockout, and you follow the specific notice requirements
- If you need to do repairs or construction
- If the tenant has abandoned the property
It’s important to understand that a lockout isn’t a formal commercial lease eviction, and your tenant can still regain access to their property.
Next Steps in the Commercial Eviction Process
In some cases, a lockout may not work or be appropriate. If that’s the case, it may be in your best interest to move forward with the formal commercial eviction process. We recommend reaching out to an attorney who can help you through the process.
The basic steps of the commercial eviction process are as follows:
- Review your lease agreement: You must make sure there are grounds for eviction. For example, if your tenant is late on rent but you offered a grace period, the eviction process can’t begin until after the period is over.
- Offer notice to vacate: You must first give your tenant at least three days’ notice to vacate the property unless your lease agreement states another period.
- File a forcible detainer suit: After the notice period is up, you can file a forcible detainer suit. If you win your case or your tenant fails to appear, you’ll receive a writ of possession for the property. This means your tenant will have 24 hours to vacate the premises.
Trouble Evicting a Commercial Tenant? Let Us Help.
The eviction process can be cumbersome for busy landlords. If you need assistance with evicting a commercial tenant, we can help. To learn more about commercial eviction or to speak with an attorney, give our legal team at The Fell Law Firm a call at 972-450-1418 or send us a message.