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COVID-19 & Texas Law

This guide is updated to reflect information pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information in this guide is subject to change at any time.


See our Rent & Legal Assistance page for sources of financial assistance for renters.

Also see the Eviction section of our Landlord/Tenant Law guide for more information about the eviction process.


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CDC's Order Halting Evictions

On August 3, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order preventing many residential tenants from being evicted for nonpayment of rent.

Note This Order was struck down by the Supreme Court on August 26, 2021.

Overview | Do I Still Owe Rent?

CDC Order: Overview

Temporary Nationwide Halt on Residential Evictions

On August 3, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Agency Order halting evictions for nonpayment of rent for renters who met certain criteria. It was issued to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 which, the agency argued, could be worsened if many people across the country were evicted and forced to live in group settings, such as homeless shelters. This Order only applied to evictions for failure to pay rent or late fees. Other types of eviction were not covered by the Order.

Note This Order was struck down by the Supreme Court on August 26, 2021.


Recent Developments

CDC Order: Do I Still Owe Rent?

Yes. The CDC Order did not provide monetary relief for renters or landlords. The Order had "no effect on the contractual obligations of renters to pay rent".

Additionally, the Order did not prevent landlords from "charging or collecting of fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract." Therefore, on top of the rent, the tenant may also owe additional fees that have accrued. For information on permissible late fees, please see the Rent page of our Landlord/Tenant Guide.

Eviction Diversion Program


Established by the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Eviction Diversion Program is a voluntary program that allows eligible landlords and tenants in Texas to agree upon a resolution relating to eviction and non-payment of rent.

When an eviction is filed, a landlord is required to review information about the program and attach an approved statement and brochure to the citation.

At the eviction hearing, the judge must discuss the program. If both the landlord and tenant are interested in the program, the judge is required to follow certain steps as outlined on the program website.

For more information, you can call The Texas Legal Services Center's toll-free hotline at: 855-270-7655.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs also offers a website about this program. 


For tenants:

  • Household income at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Household has been financially affected by COVID-19 pandemic

For landlords:

  • Assistance for rent no older than April 2020
  • Rent for the household assisted may not exceed the TDHCA maximum limit of $4,600 per month
  • Must have a bank account and accept direct deposit

General Information

Local Restrictions on Eviction

Some local governments and local court systems have given renters additional protections or have postponed all eviction suits for a period of time. Contact your local government to find out what the status of evictions is in your area.

Recently, the ability of local governments to pass ordinances regarding evictions has come into question. On August 7th, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding opinion (KP-0324) [PDF] arguing that local governments may not write ordinances related to eviction that contradict state law. It remains unclear what affect this opinion will have on local eviction protections.

CARES Act Protections for Renters

CARES Act Protections

Section 4024 of the federal CARES Act temporarily suspended evictions for nonpayment of rent or other fees for tenants living at certain properties participating in federal programs or with federally backed loans. This eviction moratorium expired on July 24, 2020. After that, the CDC issued orders temporarily suspending evictions, but on August 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court said the CDC's order could not remain in effect.

After July 24th, 2020, the CARES Act requires landlords at properties covered by the Act to give 30 days notice before beginning eviction procedures.

Is my property covered by the CARES Act?

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