A common question from both landlords and tenants is whether a landlord can lock someone out of the rental for not paying rent. The answer is "yes," but only temporarily and under very specific conditions. They cannot permanently lock the tenant out. The landlord must give the tenant a key upon request. Locking a tenant out is not a substitute for the eviction process.
A landlord can only temporarily lock a tenant out of the rental when:
Please see the text of Texas Property Code 92.0081 for complete details about when a landlord can change the locks on a tenant.
If a landlord violates any of the requirements of Section 92.0081 of the Property Code about lockouts, the tenant has the right to do a couple of things:
Sometimes, a landlord will remove an important item from the rental, like a door or doorknob, to try to get the tenant to pay rent or move out. Under Texas law, a landlord may not remove any of the following items from a rental unless they are fixing or replacing it: