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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.

Eviction


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.

Contents

This page contains information on the following. Click the link to jump to each topic:

Expired! CDC Order Halting Evictions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order on Sept. 4, 2020 that prevented many residential tenants from being evicted for nonpayment of rent. This Order expired on July 31st, 2021.

Overview
Read the Order itself along with FAQs.

Do I Still Owe Rent?
Renters still owe rent for the period they were protected under the Order.

Additional Eviction Information

Eviction Diversion Program
Landlords and tenants may opt in to this new program aimed at avoiding evictions.

Local Restrictions on Eviction
Some local governments may have additional protections for renters.

CARES Act Protections
The federal CARES Act prohibited evictions at certain properties through July 25th. After that, it required landlords to give 30 days notice before beginning an eviction.

Fight an Eviction
Get help from an attorney who could help stop or appeal an eviction.

CDC Order: Overview

Temporary Nationwide Halt on Residential Evictions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Agency Order on September 4, 2020 that halted evictions for nonpayment of rent. This Order expired on July 31st, 2021.

The Order 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 evictions were not covered by the Order.

See the text of the Order, linked below, for more details.

FAQs

CDC Order: Do I Still Owe Rent?

Yes. The CDC Order [PDF] 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 collecting "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

Overview

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. 


Eligibility

For tenants:

  • Household income at or below 200% of poverty
  • Household has been financially affected by COVID-19 pandemic
  • Tenants are INELIGIBLE if they are receiving tenant-based voucher assistance, are in a unit receiving project-based assistance, or are in public housing

For landlords:

  • Assistance for rent no older than April 2020
  • Rent for the household assisted may not exceed the TDHCA maximum limits
  • Must have a bank account and accept direct deposit
  • Units that are already receiving project-based assistance or are public housing units are INELIGIBLE
  • Units that are owned by a unit of government may be ineligible

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) 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

The federal CARES Act suspended evictions through July 25th for tenants living at certain properties participating in federal programs or with federally backed loans. After July 25th, the 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?

Fight an Eviction

About Evictions

Forms & Information

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