Scroll down

'How Long Does Eviction Take?' Learn From a Dallas Property Manager

Even though nobody wants to ask someone to leave their home, it sometimes has to be done. Evictions may be more common than you think: A recent study showed at least 2.3% of renters get evicted via a court order and more than twice that many are evicted without having to appear before a judge.

Even though evictions happen all the time, we've noticed as Dallas property managers that there’s often confusion around the eviction process. One of the biggest questions is, "How long does the eviction process take?" In Dallas County, right now, we're seeing numbers close to a month.

Concept of lives breaking up

However, an important element of successful rental property ownership is an insight into rental law—and that includes an understanding of the eviction process. Breaking down the process step-by-step can help explain why it's taking such a long time—and help prepare you in the event you have to evict a renter.

Please note: This article is not legal counsel! When you need real-time assistance, reach out to RentHub Property Management or a skilled attorney.

The First Three Days: Serving Notice

  • The first step to evicting someone is to give them the notice to vacate the property.
  • For the foreseeable future, Dallas County requires a 21-day notice first due to COVID-19.
  • Once this notice expires, you can post the traditional 3-day notice that has to expire before you file suit.
  • You can give the renter more notice if you want, but according to Texas law, you must use at least three days.
  • If you’re requesting that your renter also pays fees associated with the cost of the eviction (such as attorney's fees), you have to give them a 10-day notice to leave the property.

If you fail to give your resident the proper amount of time, you will be out of line with Texas law—and in Dallas County, that means your eviction may be unsuccessful. This is why it's crucial to check for updates at the court level first before you begin this process.

Filing Suit

When you file suit, you get the eviction ball rolling.

  • The fee you pay covers the cost of the suit as well as the court hearing.
  • The fee also pays for a constable to deliver the citation.
  • By law, this may take between six and ten days.
  • The citation lets the renter know you are in the process of evicting them.

Think of filing suit as making the eviction “official.” Without filing a proper suit, you won’t have the court’s backing to help force a resident out of your Dallas property, if necessary. The fee varies and is subject to change, but it should be less than a few hundred dollars.

If you work with a Dallas property manager, they may even offer some form of eviction coverage that can help manage this cost for you. Hopefully, their screening process has protected you up to this point—but if not, it's worth investigating to see if your property manager provides this kind of option!

Go to Court

Filing your suit is only the first step if you need the court to support your eviction. When you appear in court, you have to prove the eviction is being done for legitimate reasons. This is where the evidence you’ve collected may come in handy. In every situation, it is important to document anything that may lead to an eviction. For example, you should always document the following:

  • Damage to the property—even if it’s accidental
  • General disregard for the rules of your Dallas property
  • Dates and times where your renters violated noise regulations
  • Late or absent rental payments, as well as steps you took to collect them
  • Incidents where residents disrespected other residents of the building or neighborhood
  • Incidents where you or someone else had to call the police to manage a dispute or dangerous situation.

With all documentation, be sure you keep track of dates and times and keep them organized. If you're working with a Dallas property manager, they should already be keeping track of these violations and securely storing them leading up to your moment in court.

Keep in mind that three weeks to evict someone is just a quoted minimum: It may take longer if you have to track down documentation you need to support your claim.

Document broken into a thousand pieces

The Final Step: Writ of Possession

  • Often, after you win in court, the resident will leave right away.
  • If they disagree with the decision, they can take advantage of a five-day appeal period.
  • If they still choose to resist the eviction and remain on the property, filing a Writ of Possession may be the next step.

The Writ of Possession is an order by the court that compels the constable to officially put you in possession of the real estate on which the renter is residing. There’s an extra charge, but with an obstinate resident, the extra cost may be well worth it. 

  • You can get a Writ of Possession at the office of the Justice of the Peace where the judgment was rendered.
  • After filing the Writ of Possession in Dallas County, it may take another couple days for the renter to vacate the property.
  • In Dallas County, the constable has to provide the renter with 24 hours to leave your property. Accounting for the time it takes to deliver the Writ of Possession brings you to approximately two more days.

The decision to evict may be simple, but it’s seldom easy. With the help of a professional Dallas property manager, you can make eviction easier on you as the investor.

Once you've come through the eviction process successfully, you can shift your focus to finding a renter that’s good for your investment—and your peace of mind. However, you first have to begin the process—and we can help you get started with our free Tenant Eviction Checklist.

Find Better Renters