PROPERTY CODE


TITLE 4. ACTIONS AND REMEDIES


CHAPTER 24. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER


Sec. 24.001. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER. (a) A person commits a forcible entry and detainer if the person enters the real property of another without legal authority or by force and refuses to surrender possession on demand.

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, a forcible entry is:

(1) an entry without the consent of the person in actual possession of the property;

(2) an entry without the consent of a tenant at will or by sufferance; or

(3) an entry without the consent of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3514, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 24.002. FORCIBLE DETAINER. (a) A person who refuses to surrender possession of real property on demand commits a forcible detainer if the person:

(1) is a tenant or a subtenant wilfully and without force holding over after the termination of the tenant's right of possession;

(2) is a tenant at will or by sufferance, including an occupant at the time of foreclosure of a lien superior to the tenant's lease; or

(3) is a tenant of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry.

(b) The demand for possession must be made in writing by a person entitled to possession of the property and must comply with the requirements for notice to vacate under Section 24.005.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3514, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 200, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 24.003. SUBSTITUTION OF PARTIES. If a tenancy for a term expires while the tenant's suit for forcible entry is pending, the landlord may prosecute the suit in the tenant's name for the landlord's benefit and at the landlord's expense. It is immaterial whether the tenant received possession from the landlord or became a tenant after obtaining possession of the property.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3515, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985.

Sec. 24.004. JURISDICTION; DISMISSAL. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a justice court in the precinct in which the real property is located has jurisdiction in eviction suits. Eviction suits include forcible entry and detainer and forcible detainer suits. A justice court has jurisdiction to issue a writ of possession under Sections 24.0054(a), (a-2), and (a-3).

(b) A justice court does not have jurisdiction in a forcible entry and detainer or forcible detainer suit and shall dismiss the suit if the defendant files a sworn statement alleging the suit is based on a deed executed in violation of Chapter 21A, Business & Commerce Code.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3515, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 958 (H.B. 1111), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2012.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1242 (S.B. 1320), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 161 (S.B. 1093), Sec. 22.002(28), eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 24.005. NOTICE TO VACATE PRIOR TO FILING EVICTION SUIT. (a) If the occupant is a tenant under a written lease or oral rental agreement, the landlord must give a tenant who defaults or holds over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period at least three days' written notice to vacate the premises before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit, unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. A landlord who files a forcible detainer suit on grounds that the tenant is holding over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period must also comply with the tenancy termination requirements of Section 91.001.

(b) If the occupant is a tenant at will or by sufferance, the landlord must give the tenant at least three days' written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit unless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in a written lease or agreement. If a building is purchased at a tax foreclosure sale or a trustee's foreclosure sale under a lien superior to the tenant's lease and the tenant timely pays rent and is not otherwise in default under the tenant's lease after foreclosure, the purchaser must give a residential tenant of the building at least 30 days' written notice to vacate if the purchaser chooses not to continue the lease. The tenant is considered to timely pay the rent under this subsection if, during the month of the foreclosure sale, the tenant pays the rent for that month to the landlord before receiving any notice that a foreclosure sale is scheduled during the month or pays the rent for that month to the foreclosing lienholder or the purchaser at foreclosure not later than the fifth day after the date of receipt of a written notice of the name and address of the purchaser that requests payment. Before a foreclosure sale, a foreclosing lienholder may give written notice to a tenant stating that a foreclosure notice has been given to the landlord or owner of the property and specifying the date of the foreclosure.

(c) If the occupant is a tenant of a person who acquired possession by forcible entry, the landlord must give the person at least three days' written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible detainer suit.

(d) In all situations in which the entry by the occupant was a forcible entry under Section 24.001, the person entitled to possession must give the occupant oral or written notice to vacate before the landlord files a forcible entry and detainer suit. The notice to vacate under this subsection may be to vacate immediately or by a specified deadline.

(e) If the lease or applicable law requires the landlord to give a tenant an opportunity to respond to a notice of proposed eviction, a notice to vacate may not be given until the period provided for the tenant to respond to the eviction notice has expired.

(f) The notice to vacate shall be given in person or by mail at the premises in question. Notice in person may be by personal delivery to the tenant or any person residing at the premises who is 16 years of age or older or personal delivery to the premises and affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door. Notice by mail may be by regular mail, by registered mail, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the premises in question. If the dwelling has no mailbox and has a keyless bolting device, alarm system, or dangerous animal that prevents the landlord from entering the premises to leave the notice to vacate on the inside of the main entry door, the landlord may securely affix the notice on the outside of the main entry door.

(g) The notice period is calculated from the day on which the notice is delivered.

(h) A notice to vacate shall be considered a demand for possession for purposes of Subsection (b) of Section 24.002.

(i) If before the notice to vacate is given as required by this section the landlord has given a written notice or reminder to the tenant that rent is due and unpaid, the landlord may include in the notice to vacate required by this section a demand that the tenant pay the delinquent rent or vacate the premises by the date and time stated in the notice.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3515, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 24.0051. PROCEDURES APPLICABLE IN SUIT TO EVICT AND RECOVER UNPAID RENT. (a) In a suit filed in justice court in which the landlord files a sworn statement seeking judgment against a tenant for possession of the premises and unpaid rent, personal service on the tenant or service on the tenant under Rule 742a, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, is procedurally sufficient to support a default judgment for possession of the premises and unpaid rent.

(b) A landlord may recover unpaid rent under this section regardless of whether the tenant vacated the premises after the date the landlord filed the sworn statement and before the date the court renders judgment.

(c) In a suit to recover possession of the premises, whether or not unpaid rent is claimed, the citation required by Rule 739, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include the following notice to the defendant:

FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL MAY RESULT IN A DEFAULT JUDGMENT BEING ENTERED AGAINST YOU.


(d) In a suit described by Subsection (c), the citation required by Rule 739, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include the following notice to the defendant on the first page of the citation in English and Spanish and in conspicuous bold print:

SUIT TO EVICT


THIS SUIT TO EVICT INVOLVES IMMEDIATE DEADLINES. A TENANT WHO IS SERVING ON ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY MAY HAVE SPECIAL RIGHTS OR RELIEF RELATED TO THIS SUIT UNDER FEDERAL LAW, INCLUDING THE SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT (50 U.S.C. APP. SECTION 501 ET SEQ.), OR STATE LAW, INCLUDING SECTION 92.017, TEXAS PROPERTY CODE. CALL THE STATE BAR OF TEXAS TOLL-FREE AT 1-877-9TEXBAR IF YOU NEED HELP LOCATING AN ATTORNEY. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR FREE OR LOW-COST LEGAL ASSISTANCE.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1464, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 712 (S.B. 439), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 812 (S.B. 1483), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 252 (H.B. 1127), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 24.0052. TENANT APPEAL ON PAUPER'S AFFIDAVIT. (a) If a tenant in a residential eviction suit is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the tenant may appeal the judgment of the justice court by filing with the justice court, not later than the fifth day after the date the judgment is signed, a pauper's affidavit sworn before the clerk of the justice court or a notary public that states that the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond. The affidavit must contain the following information:

(1) the tenant's identity;

(2) the nature and amount of the tenant's employment income;

(3) the income of the tenant's spouse, if applicable and available to the tenant;

(4) the nature and amount of any governmental entitlement income of the tenant;

(5) all other income of the tenant;

(6) the amount of available cash and funds available in savings or checking accounts of the tenant;

(7) real and personal property owned by the tenant, other than household furnishings, clothes, tools of a trade, or personal effects;

(8) the tenant's debts and monthly expenses; and

(9) the number and age of the tenant's dependents and where those dependents reside.

(b) The justice court shall make available an affidavit form that a person may use to comply with the requirements of Subsection (a).

(c) The justice court shall promptly notify the landlord if a pauper's affidavit is filed by the tenant.

(d) A landlord may contest a pauper's affidavit on or before the fifth day after the date the affidavit is filed. If the landlord contests the affidavit, the justice court shall notify the parties and hold a hearing to determine whether the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond. The hearing shall be held not later than the fifth day after the date the landlord notifies the court clerk of the landlord's contest. At the hearing, the tenant has the burden to prove by competent evidence, including documents or credible testimony of the tenant or others, that the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond.

(e) If the justice court approves the pauper's affidavit of a tenant, the tenant is not required to pay the county court filing fee or file an additional affidavit in the county court under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1185 (H.B. 62), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 24.0053. PAYMENT OF RENT DURING APPEAL OF EVICTION. (a) If the justice court enters judgment for the landlord in a residential eviction case based on nonpayment of rent, the court shall determine the amount of rent to be paid each rental pay period during the pendency of any appeal and shall note that amount in the judgment. If a portion of the rent is payable by a government agency, the court shall determine and note in the judgment the portion of the rent to be paid by the government agency and the portion to be paid by the tenant. The court's determination shall be in accordance with the terms of the rental agreement and applicable laws and regulations. This subsection does not require or prohibit payment of rent into the court registry or directly to the landlord during the pendency of an appeal of an eviction case based on grounds other than nonpayment of rent.

(a-1) If a tenant files a pauper's affidavit in the period prescribed by Section 24.0052 to appeal an eviction for nonpayment of rent, the justice court shall provide to the tenant a written notice at the time the pauper's affidavit is filed that contains the following information in bold or conspicuous type:

(1) the amount of the initial deposit of rent stated in the judgment that the tenant must pay into the justice court registry;

(2) whether the initial deposit must be paid in cash, cashier's check, or money order, and to whom the cashier's check or money order, if applicable, must be made payable;

(3) the calendar date by which the initial deposit must be paid into the justice court registry;

(4) for a court that closes before 5 p.m. on the date specified by Subdivision (3), the time the court closes; and

(5) a statement that failure to pay the required amount into the justice court registry by the date prescribed by Subdivision (3) may result in the court issuing a writ of possession without hearing.

(a-2) The date by which an initial deposit must be paid into the justice court registry under Subsection (a-1)(3) must be within five days of the date the tenant files the pauper's affidavit as required by Rule 749b(1), Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b) If an eviction case is based on nonpayment of rent and the tenant appeals by filing a pauper's affidavit, the tenant shall pay the rent, as it becomes due, into the justice court or the county court registry, as applicable, during the pendency of the appeal, in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and Subsection (a). If a government agency is responsible for all or a portion of the rent under an agreement with the landlord, the tenant shall pay only that portion of the rent determined by the justice court under Subsection (a) to be paid by the tenant during appeal, subject to either party's right to contest that determination under Subsection (c).

(c) If an eviction case is based on nonpayment of rent and the tenant's rent during the rental agreement term has been paid wholly or partly by a government agency, either party may contest the portion of the rent that the justice court determines must be paid into the county court registry by the tenant under this section. The contest must be filed on or before the fifth day after the date the justice signs the judgment. If a contest is filed, not later than the fifth day after the date the contest is filed the justice court shall notify the parties and hold a hearing to determine the amount owed by the tenant in accordance with the terms of the rental agreement and applicable laws and regulations. After hearing the evidence, the justice court shall determine the portion of the rent that must be paid by the tenant under this section.

(d) If the tenant objects to the justice court's ruling under Subsection (c) on the portion of the rent to be paid by the tenant during appeal, the tenant shall be required to pay only the portion claimed by the tenant to be owed by the tenant until the issue is tried de novo along with the case on the merits in county court. During the pendency of the appeal, either party may file a motion with the county court to reconsider the amount of the rent that must be paid by the tenant into the registry of the court.

(e) If either party files a contest under Subsection (c) and the tenant files a pauper's affidavit that is contested by the landlord under Section 24.0052(d), the justice court shall hold the hearing on both contests at the same time.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1185 (H.B. 62), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 958 (H.B. 1111), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 24.0054. TENANT'S FAILURE TO PAY RENT DURING APPEAL. (a) During an appeal of an eviction case for nonpayment of rent, the justice court on request shall immediately issue a writ of possession, without hearing, if:

(1) a tenant fails to pay the initial rent deposit into the justice court registry within five days of the date the tenant filed a pauper's affidavit as required by Rule 749b(1), Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, and Section 24.0053;

(2) the justice court has provided the written notice required by Section 24.0053(a-1); and

(3) the justice court has not yet forwarded the transcript and original papers to the county court as provided by Subsection (a-2).

(a-1) The sheriff or constable shall execute a writ of possession under Subsection (a) in accordance with Sections 24.0061(d) through (h). The landlord shall bear the costs of issuing and executing the writ of possession.

(a-2) The justice court shall forward the transcript and original papers in an appeal of an eviction case to the county court but may not forward the transcript and original papers before the sixth day after the date the tenant files a pauper's affidavit, except that, if the court confirms that the tenant has timely paid the initial deposit of rent into the justice court registry in accordance with Section 24.0053, the court may forward the transcript and original papers immediately. If the tenant has not timely paid the initial deposit into the justice court registry, the justice court on request shall issue a writ of possession notwithstanding the fact that the tenant has perfected an appeal by filing a pauper's affidavit that has been approved by the court. The justice court shall forward the transcript and original papers in the case to the county court for trial de novo, notwithstanding the fact that a writ of possession under this section has already been issued.

(a-3) Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (a-2), the justice court may not issue a writ of possession if the tenant has timely deposited the tenant's portion of the rent claimed by the tenant under Section 24.0053(d).

(a-4) During an appeal of an eviction case for nonpayment of rent, if a tenant fails to pay rent into the justice court or county court registry as the rent becomes due under the rental agreement in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 24.0053, the landlord may file with the county court a sworn motion that the tenant failed to pay rent as required. The landlord shall notify the tenant of the motion and the hearing date.

(b) If the county court finds that the tenant has not complied with the payment requirements of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 24.0053, the county court shall immediately issue a writ of possession unless on or before the day of the hearing the tenant pays into the court registry:

(1) all rent not paid in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 24.0053; and

(2) the landlord's reasonable attorney's fees, if any, in filing the motion.

(c) If the court finds that a tenant has failed to timely pay the rent into the court registry on more than one occasion:

(1) the tenant is not entitled to stay the issuance of the writ by paying the rent and the landlord's reasonable attorney's fees, if any; and

(2) the county court shall immediately issue a writ of possession.

(d) A writ of possession issued under Subsection (c) may not be executed before the sixth day after the date the writ is issued.

(e) In a motion or hearing under Subsection (a-4), or in a motion to dismiss an appeal of an eviction case in county court, the parties may represent themselves or be represented by their authorized agents, who need not be attorneys.

(f) During the appeal of an eviction case, if a government agency is responsible for payment of a portion of the rent and does not pay that portion to the landlord or into the justice court or county court registry, the landlord may file a motion with the county court requesting that the tenant be required to pay into the county court registry, as a condition of remaining in possession, the full amount of each rental period's rent, as it becomes due under the rental agreement. After notice and hearing, the court shall grant the motion if the landlord proves by credible evidence that:

(1) a portion of the rent is owed by a government agency;

(2) the portion of the rent owed by the government agency is unpaid;

(3) the landlord did not cause wholly or partly the agency to cease making the payments;

(4) the landlord did not cause wholly or partly the agency to pay the wrong amount; and

(5) the landlord is not able to take reasonable action that will cause the agency to resume making the payments of its portion of the total rent due under the rental agreement.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1185 (H.B. 62), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 958 (H.B. 1111), Sec. 3, eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 24.006. ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS OF SUIT. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), to be eligible to recover attorney's fees in an eviction suit, a landlord must give a tenant who is unlawfully retaining possession of the landlord's premises a written demand to vacate the premises. The demand must state that if the tenant does not vacate the premises before the 11th day after the date of receipt of the notice and if the landlord files suit, the landlord may recover attorney's fees. The demand must be sent by registered mail or by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 10 days before the date the suit is filed.

(b) If the landlord provides the tenant notice under Subsection (a) or if a written lease entitles the landlord to recover attorney's fees, a prevailing landlord is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees from the tenant.

(c) If the landlord provides the tenant notice under Subsection (a) or if a written lease entitles the landlord or the tenant to recover attorney's fees, the prevailing tenant is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees from the landlord. A prevailing tenant is not required to give notice in order to recover attorney's fees under this subsection.

(d) The prevailing party is entitled to recover all costs of court.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3516, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 24.0061. WRIT OF POSSESSION. (a) A landlord who prevails in an eviction suit is entitled to a judgment for possession of the premises and a writ of possession. In this chapter, "premises" means the unit that is occupied or rented and any outside area or facility that the tenant is entitled to use under a written lease or oral rental agreement, or that is held out for the use of tenants generally.

(b) A writ of possession may not be issued before the sixth day after the date on which the judgment for possession is rendered unless a possession bond has been filed and approved under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and judgment for possession is thereafter granted by default.

(c) The court shall notify a tenant in writing of a default judgment for possession by sending a copy of the judgment to the premises by first class mail not later than 48 hours after the entry of the judgment.

(d) The writ of possession shall order the officer executing the writ to:

(1) post a written warning of at least 8-1/2 by 11 inches on the exterior of the front door of the rental unit notifying the tenant that the writ has been issued and that the writ will be executed on or after a specific date and time stated in the warning not sooner than 24 hours after the warning is posted; and

(2) when the writ is executed:

(A) deliver possession of the premises to the landlord;

(B) instruct the tenant and all persons claiming under the tenant to leave the premises immediately, and, if the persons fail to comply, physically remove them;

(C) instruct the tenant to remove or to allow the landlord, the landlord's representatives, or other persons acting under the officer's supervision to remove all personal property from the rental unit other than personal property claimed to be owned by the landlord; and

(D) place, or have an authorized person place, the removed personal property outside the rental unit at a nearby location, but not blocking a public sidewalk, passageway, or street and not while it is raining, sleeting, or snowing.

(e) The writ of possession shall authorize the officer, at the officer's discretion, to engage the services of a bonded or insured warehouseman to remove and store, subject to applicable law, part or all of the property at no cost to the landlord or the officer executing the writ.

(f) The officer may not require the landlord to store the property.

(g) The writ of possession shall contain notice to the officer that under Section 7.003, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, the officer is not liable for damages resulting from the execution of the writ if the officer executes the writ in good faith and with reasonable diligence.

(h) A sheriff or constable may use reasonable force in executing a writ under this section.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 319, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 314, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 745, Sec. 6, eff. June 20, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 1089, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 2, Sec. 13.01, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 688, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 24.0062. WAREHOUSEMAN'S LIEN. (a) If personal property is removed from a tenant's premises as the result of an action brought under this chapter and stored in a bonded or insured public warehouse, the warehouseman has a lien on the property to the extent of any reasonable storage and moving charges incurred by the warehouseman. The lien does not attach to any property until the property has been stored by the warehouseman.

(b) If property is to be removed and stored in a public warehouse under a writ of possession, the officer executing the writ shall, at the time of execution, deliver in person to the tenant, or by first class mail to the tenant's last known address not later than 72 hours after execution of the writ if the tenant is not present, a written notice stating the complete address and telephone number of the location at which the property may be redeemed and stating that:

(1) the tenant's property is to be removed and stored by a public warehouseman under Section 24.0062 of the Property Code;

(2) the tenant may redeem any of the property, without payment of moving or storage charges, on demand during the time the warehouseman is removing the property from the tenant's premises and before the warehouseman permanently leaves the tenant's premises;

(3) within 30 days from the date of storage, the tenant may redeem any of the property described by Section 24.0062(e), Property Code, on demand by the tenant and on payment of the moving and storage charges reasonably attributable to the items being redeemed;

(4) after the 30-day period and before sale, the tenant may redeem the property on demand by the tenant and on payment of all moving and storage charges; and

(5) subject to the previously stated conditions, the warehouseman has a lien on the property to secure payment of moving and storage charges and may sell all the property to satisfy reasonable moving and storage charges after 30 days, subject to the requirements of Section 24.0062(j) of the Property Code.

(c) The statement required by Subsection (b)(2) must be underlined or in boldfaced print.

(d) On demand by the tenant during the time the warehouseman is removing the property from the tenant's premises and before the warehouseman permanently leaves the tenant's premises, the warehouseman shall return to the tenant all property requested by the tenant, without charge.

(e) On demand by the tenant within 30 days after the date the property is stored by the warehouseman and on payment by the tenant of the moving and storage charges reasonably attributable to the items being redeemed, the warehouseman shall return to the tenant at the warehouse the following property:

(1) wearing apparel;

(2) tools, apparatus, and books of a trade or profession;

(3) school books;

(4) a family library;

(5) family portraits and pictures;

(6) one couch, two living room chairs, and a dining table and chairs;

(7) beds and bedding;

(8) kitchen furniture and utensils;

(9) food and foodstuffs;

(10) medicine and medical supplies;

(11) one automobile and one truck;

(12) agricultural implements;

(13) children's toys not commonly used by adults;

(14) goods that the warehouseman or the warehouseman's agent knows are owned by a person other than the tenant or an occupant of the residence;

(15) goods that the warehouseman or the warehouseman's agent knows are subject to a recorded chattel mortgage or financing agreement; and

(16) cash.

(f) During the first 30 days after the date of storage, the warehouseman may not require payment of removal or storage charges for other items as a condition for redeeming the items described by Subsection (e).

(g) On demand by the tenant to the warehouseman after the 30-day period and before sale and on payment by the tenant of all unpaid moving and storage charges on all the property, the warehouseman shall return all the previously unredeemed property to the tenant at the warehouse.

(h) A warehouseman may not recover any moving or storage charges if the court determines under Subsection (i) that the warehouseman's moving or storage charges are not reasonable.

(i) Before the sale of the property by the warehouseman, the tenant may file suit in the justice court in which the eviction judgment was rendered, or in another court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the rental premises are located, to recover the property described by Subsection (e) on the ground that the landlord failed to return the property after timely demand and payment by the tenant, as provided by this section. Before sale, the tenant may also file suit to recover all property moved or stored by the warehouseman on the ground that the amount of the warehouseman's moving or storage charges is not reasonable. All proceedings under this subsection have precedence over other matters on the court's docket. The justice court that issued the writ of possession has jurisdiction under this section regardless of the amount in controversy.

(j) Any sale of property that is subject to a lien under this section shall be conducted in accordance with Section 7.210 and Subchapters D and F, Chapter 9, Business & Commerce Code.

(k) In a proceeding under this section, the prevailing party is entitled to recover actual damages, reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, and, if appropriate, any property withheld in violation of this section or the value of that property if it has been sold.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 747, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Renumbered from Sec. 24.009 and amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 314, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 745, Sec. 7, eff. June 20, 1987; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 414, Sec. 2.35, eff. July 1, 2001.

Sec. 24.007. APPEAL. (a) A judgment of a county court in an eviction suit may not under any circumstances be stayed pending appeal unless, within 10 days of the signing of the judgment, the appellant files a supersedeas bond in an amount set by the county court. In setting the supersedeas bond the county court shall provide protection for the appellee to the same extent as in any other appeal, taking into consideration the value of rents likely to accrue during appeal, damages which may occur as a result of the stay during appeal, and other damages or amounts as the court may deem appropriate.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, an appeal may be taken from a final judgment of a county court, statutory county court, statutory probate court, or district court in an eviction suit.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3516, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 2.02(a), eff. January 1, 2012.

Sec. 24.008. EFFECT ON OTHER ACTIONS. An eviction suit does not bar a suit for trespass, damages, waste, rent, or mesne profits.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3516, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 24.011. NONLAWYER REPRESENTATION. In eviction suits in justice court for nonpayment of rent or holding over beyond a rental term, the parties may represent themselves or be represented by their authorized agents, who need not be attorneys. In any eviction suit in justice court, an authorized agent requesting or obtaining a default judgment need not be an attorney.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 891, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985. Renumbered from Sec. 24.009 by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 5.01(a)(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.