Evictions in Texas halted due to COVID-19

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Central Texas – For many across the state of Texas, it could’ve been pretty stressful approaching the first of the month with rent being due, but the Texas Supreme Court, in an effort to help tenants, placed a temporary ban on evictions.

The ninth emergency order regarding COVID-19 from the State Supreme Court ordered that
in any action for eviction to recover possession of residential property, no trial, hearing, or other proceeding may be conducted, and all deadlines are tolled until after April 30, 2020.

A writ of possession may issue, but the posting of the written warning and the execution of the writ of possession may not occur until after May 7, 2020.

And new filings may be accepted, but the time period is suspended and issuance and service of citation may not occur until after April 30, 2020.

FOX44 spoke with a lawyer who deals with evictions on behalf of both tenants and landlords. The lawyer says she’s received several calls of concerned folks on both sides trying to make some sense of the emergency order.

“I think this is probably damaging a lot of people at this time. However, it is a relief effort for people who are losing their jobs. So we have to balance the scales of what is important at this time,” says Ashley Clapper.

While landlords can decide to file for an eviction of a tenant, the courts can’t move forward with hearings which could generate a backlog for judges across the Central Texas.

“We’re not being able to have hearings until a specific date. They’re going to have to really work their schedules to let everyone who needs a hearing to have a hearing,” says Clapper.

Now the moratoriums aren’t a relief effort on rent. It’s just a way for folks who may find themselves on hard times to catch up without having fears of losing their homes.

“I believe that’s what was targeted here is to keep people in their homes and create that moratorium so that the relief can get to them,” says Clapper.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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