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CHAPTER 24. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER

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PROPERTY CODETITLE 4. ACTIONS AND REMEDIESCHAPTER 24. FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINERSec. 24.001.FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER.(a)A person commitsa forcible entry and detainer if the person enters the realproperty of another without legal authority or by force andrefuses 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 actualpossession of the property;(2)an entry without the consent of a tenant at will or bysufferance; or(3)an entry without the consent of a person who acquiredpossession 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 tosurrender possession of real property on demand commits aforcible detainer if the person:(1)is a tenant or a subtenant wilfully and without forceholding over after the termination of the tenant's right ofpossession;(2)is a tenant at will or by sufferance, including an occupantat the time of foreclosure of a lien superior to the tenant'slease; or(3)is a tenant of a person who acquired possession by forcibleentry.(b)The demand for possession must be made in writing by aperson entitled to possession of the property and must complywith 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 termexpires while the tenant's suit for forcible entry is pending,the landlord may prosecute the suit in the tenant's name for thelandlord's benefit and at the landlord's expense. It isimmaterial whether the tenant received possession from thelandlord or became a tenant after obtaining possession of theproperty.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.A justice court in the precinct inwhich the real property is located has jurisdiction in evictionsuits. Eviction suits include forcible entry and detainer andforcible detainer suits.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.Sec. 24.005.NOTICE TO VACATE PRIOR TO FILING EVICTION SUIT.(a)If the occupant is a tenant under a written lease or oralrental agreement, the landlord must give a tenant who defaults orholds over beyond the end of the rental term or renewal period atleast three days' written notice to vacate the premises beforethe landlord files a forcible detainer suit, unless the partieshave contracted for a shorter or longer notice period in awritten lease or agreement. A landlord who files a forcibledetainer suit on grounds that the tenant is holding over beyondthe end of the rental term or renewal period must also complywith the tenancy termination requirements of Section 91.001.(b)If the occupant is a tenant at will or by sufferance, thelandlord must give the tenant at least three days' written noticeto vacate before the landlord files a forcible detainer suitunless the parties have contracted for a shorter or longer noticeperiod in a written lease or agreement. If a building ispurchased at a tax foreclosure sale or a trustee's foreclosuresale under a lien superior to the tenant's lease and the tenanttimely pays rent and is not otherwise in default under thetenant's lease after foreclosure, the purchaser must give aresidential tenant of the building at least 30 days' writtennotice to vacate if the purchaser chooses not to continue thelease. The tenant is considered to timely pay the rent under thissubsection if, during the month of the foreclosure sale, thetenant pays the rent for that month to the landlord beforereceiving any notice that a foreclosure sale is scheduled duringthe month or pays the rent for that month to the foreclosinglienholder or the purchaser at foreclosure not later than thefifth day after the date of receipt of a written notice of thename and address of the purchaser that requests payment. Before aforeclosure sale, a foreclosing lienholder may give writtennotice to a tenant stating that a foreclosure notice has beengiven to the landlord or owner of the property and specifying thedate of the foreclosure.(c)If the occupant is a tenant of a person who acquiredpossession by forcible entry, the landlord must give the personat least three days' written notice to vacate before the landlordfiles a forcible detainer suit.(d)In all situations in which the entry by the occupant was aforcible entry under Section 24.001, the person entitled topossession must give the occupant oral or written notice tovacate before the landlord files a forcible entry and detainersuit. The notice to vacate under this subsection may be to vacateimmediately or by a specified deadline.(e)If the lease or applicable law requires the landlord to givea tenant an opportunity to respond to a notice of proposedeviction, a notice to vacate may not be given until the periodprovided for the tenant to respond to the eviction notice hasexpired.(f)The notice to vacate shall be given in person or by mail atthe premises in question. Notice in person may be by personaldelivery to the tenant or any person residing at the premises whois 16 years of age or older or personal delivery to the premisesand affixing the notice to the inside of the main entry door.Notice by mail may be by regular mail, by registered mail, or bycertified mail, return receipt requested, to the premises inquestion. If the dwelling has no mailbox and has a keylessbolting device, alarm system, or dangerous animal that preventsthe landlord from entering the premises to leave the notice tovacate on the inside of the main entry door, the landlord maysecurely affix the notice on the outside of the main entry door.(g)The notice period is calculated from the day on which thenotice is delivered.(h)A notice to vacate shall be considered a demand forpossession for purposes of Subsection (b) of Section 24.002.(i)If before the notice to vacate is given as required by thissection the landlord has given a written notice or reminder tothe tenant that rent is due and unpaid, the landlord may includein the notice to vacate required by this section a demand thatthe tenant pay the delinquent rent or vacate the premises by thedate 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 RECOVERUNPAID RENT.(a)In a suit filed in justice court in which thelandlord files a sworn statement seeking judgment against atenant for possession of the premises and unpaid rent, personalservice on the tenant or service on the tenant under Rule 742a,Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, is procedurally sufficient tosupport a default judgment for possession of the premises andunpaid rent.(b)A landlord may recover unpaid rent under this sectionregardless of whether the tenant vacated the premises after thedate the landlord filed the sworn statement and before the datethe court renders judgment.(c)In a suit to recover possession of the premises, whether ornot unpaid rent is claimed, the citation required by Rule 739,Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include the following noticeto the defendant:FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL MAY RESULT IN A DEFAULT JUDGMENTBEING ENTERED AGAINST YOU.(d)In a suit described by Subsection (c), the citation requiredby Rule 739, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, must include thefollowing notice to the defendant on the first page of thecitation in English and Spanish and in conspicuous bold print:SUIT TO EVICTTHIS SUIT TO EVICT INVOLVES IMMEDIATE DEADLINES.CALL THE STATEBAR OF TEXAS TOLL-FREE AT 1-877-9TEXBAR IF YOU NEED HELP LOCATINGAN ATTORNEY.IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY, YOU MAYBE 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, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.812, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.Sec. 24.0052.TENANT APPEAL ON PAUPER'S AFFIDAVIT.(a)If atenant in a residential eviction suit is unable to pay the costsof appeal or file an appeal bond as required by the Texas Rulesof Civil Procedure, the tenant may appeal the judgment of thejustice court by filing with the justice court, not later thanthe fifth day after the date the judgment is signed, a pauper'saffidavit sworn before the clerk of the justice court or a notarypublic that states that the tenant is unable to pay the costs ofappeal or file an appeal bond.The affidavit must contain thefollowing 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 andavailable to the tenant;(4)the nature and amount of any governmental entitlement incomeof the tenant;(5)all other income of the tenant;(6)the amount of available cash and funds available in savingsor checking accounts of the tenant;(7)real and personal property owned by the tenant, other thanhousehold furnishings, clothes, tools of a trade, or personaleffects;(8)the tenant's debts and monthly expenses; and(9)the number and age of the tenant's dependents and wherethose dependents reside.(b)The justice court shall make available an affidavit formthat a person may use to comply with the requirements ofSubsection (a).(c)The justice court shall promptly notify the landlord if apauper's affidavit is filed by the tenant.(d)A landlord may contest a pauper's affidavit on or before thefifth day after the date the affidavit is filed.If the landlordcontests the affidavit, the justice court shall notify theparties and hold a hearing to determine whether the tenant isunable to pay the costs of appeal or file an appeal bond.Thehearing shall be held not later than the fifth day after the datethe landlord notifies the court clerk of the landlord's contest.At the hearing, the tenant has the burden to prove by competentevidence, including documents or credible testimony of the tenantor others, that the tenant is unable to pay the costs of appealor file an appeal bond.(e)If the justice court approves the pauper's affidavit of atenant, the tenant is not required to pay the county court filingfee or file an additional affidavit in the county court underSubsection (a).Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.1185, 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 aresidential eviction case based on nonpayment of rent, the courtshall determine the amount of rent to be paid each rental payperiod during the pendency of any appeal and shall note thatamount in the judgment.If a portion of the rent is payable by agovernment agency, the court shall determine and note in thejudgment the portion of the rent to be paid by the governmentagency and the portion to be paid by the tenant.The court'sdetermination shall be in accordance with the terms of the rentalagreement and applicable laws and regulations.This subsectiondoes not require or prohibit payment of rent into the courtregistry or directly to the landlord during the pendency of anappeal of an eviction case based on grounds other than nonpaymentof rent.(b)If an eviction case is based on nonpayment of rent and thetenant appeals by filing a pauper's affidavit, the tenant shallpay the rent, as it becomes due, into the justice court or thecounty court registry, as applicable, during the pendency of theappeal, in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure andSubsection (a).If a government agency is responsible for all ora portion of the rent under an agreement with the landlord, thetenant shall pay only that portion of the rent determined by thejustice court under Subsection (a) to be paid by the tenantduring appeal, subject to either party's right to contest thatdetermination under Subsection (c).(c)If an eviction case is based on nonpayment of rent and thetenant's rent during the rental agreement term has been paidwholly or partly by a government agency, either party may contestthe portion of the rent that the justice court determines must bepaid into the county court registry by the tenant under thissection.The contest must be filed on or before the fifth dayafter the date the justice signs the judgment.If a contest isfiled, not later than the fifth day after the date the contest isfiled the justice court shall notify the parties and hold ahearing to determine the amount owed by the tenant in accordancewith the terms of the rental agreement and applicable laws andregulations.After hearing the evidence, the justice court shalldetermine the portion of the rent that must be paid by the tenantunder this section.(d)If the tenant objects to the justice court's ruling underSubsection (c) on the portion of the rent to be paid by thetenant during appeal, the tenant shall be required to pay onlythe portion claimed by the tenant to be owed by the tenant untilthe issue is tried de novo along with the case on the merits incounty court.During the pendency of the appeal, either partymay file a motion with the county court to reconsider the amountof the rent that must be paid by the tenant into the registry ofthe court.(e)If either party files a contest under Subsection (c) and thetenant files a pauper's affidavit that is contested by thelandlord under Section 24.0052(d), the justice court shall holdthe hearing on both contests at the same time.Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.1185, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.Sec. 24.0054.TENANT'S FAILURE TO PAY RENT DURING APPEAL.(a)During an appeal of an eviction case for nonpayment of rent, if atenant fails to pay rent into the justice court or county courtregistry in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedureand Section 24.0053, the landlord may file with the county courta sworn motion that the tenant failed to pay rent as required.The landlord shall notify the tenant of the motion and thehearing date.(b)If the county court finds that the tenant has not compliedwith the payment requirements of the Texas Rules of CivilProcedure and Section 24.0053, the county court shall immediatelyissue a writ of possession unless on or before the day of thehearing the tenant pays into the court registry:(1)all rent not paid in accordance with the Texas Rules ofCivil Procedure and Section 24.0053; and(2)the landlord's reasonable attorney's fees, if any, in filingthe motion.(c)If the court finds that a tenant has failed to timely paythe rent into the court registry on more than one occasion:(1)the tenant is not entitled to stay the issuance of the writby paying the rent and the landlord's reasonable attorney's fees,if any; and(2)the county court shall immediately issue a writ ofpossession.(d)A writ of possession issued under Subsection (c) may not beexecuted before the sixth day after the date the writ is issued.(e)In a motion or hearing in county court under Subsection (a),the parties may represent themselves or be represented by theirauthorized agents, who need not be attorneys.(f)During the appeal of an eviction case, if a governmentagency is responsible for payment of a portion of the rent anddoes not pay that portion to the landlord or into the justicecourt or county court registry, the landlord may file a motionwith the county court requesting that the tenant be required topay into the county court registry, as a condition of remainingin possession, the full amount of each rental period's rent, asit becomes due under the rental agreement.After notice andhearing, the court shall grant the motion if the landlord provesby 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 isunpaid;(3)the landlord did not cause wholly or partly the agency tocease making the payments;(4)the landlord did not cause wholly or partly the agency topay the wrong amount; and(5)the landlord is not able to take reasonable action that willcause the agency to resume making the payments of its portion ofthe total rent due under the rental agreement.Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch.1185, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.Sec. 24.006.ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS OF SUIT.(a)Except asprovided by Subsection (b), to be eligible to recover attorney'sfees in an eviction suit, a landlord must give a tenant who isunlawfully retaining possession of the landlord's premises awritten demand to vacate the premises. The demand must state thatif the tenant does not vacate the premises before the 11th dayafter the date of receipt of the notice and if the landlord filessuit, the landlord may recover attorney's fees. The demand mustbe sent by registered mail or by certified mail, return receiptrequested, 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 recoverattorney's fees, a prevailing landlord is entitled to recoverreasonable 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 torecover attorney's fees, the prevailing tenant is entitled torecover reasonable attorney's fees from the landlord. Aprevailing tenant is not required to give notice in order torecover attorney's fees under this subsection.(d)The prevailing party is entitled to recover all costs ofcourt.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 prevailsin an eviction suit is entitled to a judgment for possession ofthe premises and a writ of possession. In this chapter,"premises" means the unit that is occupied or rented and anyoutside area or facility that the tenant is entitled to use undera written lease or oral rental agreement, or that is held out forthe use of tenants generally.(b)A writ of possession may not be issued before the sixth dayafter the date on which the judgment for possession is renderedunless a possession bond has been filed and approved under theTexas Rules of Civil Procedure and judgment for possession isthereafter granted by default.(c)The court shall notify a tenant in writing of a defaultjudgment for possession by sending a copy of the judgment to thepremises by first class mail not later than 48 hours after theentry of the judgment.(d)The writ of possession shall order the officer executing thewrit to:(1)post a written warning of at least 8-1/2 by 11 inches on theexterior of the front door of the rental unit notifying thetenant that the writ has been issued and that the writ will beexecuted on or after a specific date and time stated in thewarning 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 thetenant to leave the premises immediately, and, if the personsfail to comply, physically remove them;(C)instruct the tenant to remove or to allow the landlord, thelandlord's representatives, or other persons acting under theofficer's supervision to remove all personal property from therental unit other than personal property claimed to be owned bythe landlord; and(D)place, or have an authorized person place, the removedpersonal property outside the rental unit at a nearby location,but not blocking a public sidewalk, passageway, or street and notwhile it is raining, sleeting, or snowing.(e)The writ of possession shall authorize the officer, at theofficer's discretion, to engage the services of a bonded orinsured warehouseman to remove and store, subject to applicablelaw, part or all of the property at no cost to the landlord orthe officer executing the writ.(f)The officer may not require the landlord to store theproperty.(g)The writ of possession shall contain notice to the officerthat under Section 7.003, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, theofficer is not liable for damages resulting from the execution ofthe writ if the officer executes the writ in good faith and withreasonable diligence.(h)A sheriff or constable may use reasonable force in executinga 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. June20, 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 isremoved from a tenant's premises as the result of an actionbrought under this chapter and stored in a bonded or insuredpublic warehouse, the warehouseman has a lien on the property tothe extent of any reasonable storage and moving charges incurredby the warehouseman. The lien does not attach to any propertyuntil the property has been stored by the warehouseman.(b)If property is to be removed and stored in a publicwarehouse under a writ of possession, the officer executing thewrit shall, at the time of execution, deliver in person to thetenant, or by first class mail to the tenant's last known addressnot later than 72 hours after execution of the writ if the tenantis not present, a written notice stating the complete address andtelephone number of the location at which the property may beredeemed and stating that:(1)the tenant's property is to be removed and stored by apublic warehouseman under Section 24.0062 of the Property Code;(2)the tenant may redeem any of the property, without paymentof moving or storage charges, on demand during the time thewarehouseman is removing the property from the tenant's premisesand before the warehouseman permanently leaves the tenant'spremises;(3)within 30 days from the date of storage, the tenant mayredeem any of the property described by Section 24.0062(e),Property Code, on demand by the tenant and on payment of themoving and storage charges reasonably attributable to the itemsbeing redeemed;(4)after the 30-day period and before sale, the tenant mayredeem the property on demand by the tenant and on payment of allmoving and storage charges; and(5)subject to the previously stated conditions, thewarehouseman has a lien on the property to secure payment ofmoving and storage charges and may sell all the property tosatisfy reasonable moving and storage charges after 30 days,subject to the requirements of Section 24.0062(j) of the PropertyCode.(c)The statement required by Subsection (b)(2) must beunderlined or in boldfaced print.(d)On demand by the tenant during the time the warehouseman isremoving the property from the tenant's premises and before thewarehouseman permanently leaves the tenant's premises, thewarehouseman shall return to the tenant all property requested bythe tenant, without charge.(e)On demand by the tenant within 30 days after the date theproperty is stored by the warehouseman and on payment by thetenant of the moving and storage charges reasonably attributableto the items being redeemed, the warehouseman shall return to thetenant 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 andchairs;(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 agentknows are owned by a person other than the tenant or an occupantof the residence;(15)goods that the warehouseman or the warehouseman's agentknows are subject to a recorded chattel mortgage or financingagreement; and(16)cash.(f)During the first 30 days after the date of storage, thewarehouseman may not require payment of removal or storagecharges for other items as a condition for redeeming the itemsdescribed by Subsection (e).(g)On demand by the tenant to the warehouseman after the 30-dayperiod and before sale and on payment by the tenant of all unpaidmoving and storage charges on all the property, the warehousemanshall return all the previously unredeemed property to the tenantat the warehouse.(h)A warehouseman may not recover any moving or storage chargesif the court determines under Subsection (i) that thewarehouseman's moving or storage charges are not reasonable.(i)Before the sale of the property by the warehouseman, thetenant may file suit in the justice court in which the evictionjudgment was rendered, or in another court of competentjurisdiction in the county in which the rental premises arelocated, to recover the property described by Subsection (e) onthe ground that the landlord failed to return the property aftertimely demand and payment by the tenant, as provided by thissection. Before sale, the tenant may also file suit to recoverall property moved or stored by the warehouseman on the groundthat the amount of the warehouseman's moving or storage chargesis not reasonable. All proceedings under this subsection haveprecedence over other matters on the court's docket. The justicecourt that issued the writ of possession has jurisdiction underthis section regardless of the amount in controversy.(j)Any sale of property that is subject to a lien under thissection shall be conducted in accordance with Section 7.210 andSubchapters D and F, Chapter 9, Business & Commerce Code.(k)In a proceeding under this section, the prevailing party isentitled to recover actual damages, reasonable attorney's fees,court costs, and, if appropriate, any property withheld inviolation of this section or the value of that property if it hasbeen 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, 70thLeg., 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 final judgment of a county court in aneviction suit may not be appealed on the issue of possessionunless the premises in question are being used for residentialpurposes only. A judgment of a county court may not under anycircumstances be stayed pending appeal unless, within 10 days ofthe signing of the judgment, the appellant files a supersedeasbond in an amount set by the county court. In setting thesupersedeas bond the county court shall provide protection forthe appellee to the same extent as in any other appeal, takinginto consideration the value of rents likely to accrue duringappeal, damages which may occur as a result of the stay duringappeal, and other damages or amounts as the court may deemappropriate.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.Sec. 24.008.EFFECT ON OTHER ACTIONS.An eviction suit does notbar 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 injustice court for nonpayment of rent or holding over beyond arental term, the parties may represent themselves or berepresented by their authorized agents, who need not beattorneys. In any eviction suit in justice court, an authorizedagent requesting or obtaining a default judgment need not be anattorney.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.
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  • 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. 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.

    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.

    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. 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, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

    Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

    812, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

    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, 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.

    (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, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

    Sec. 24.0054. TENANT'S FAILURE TO PAY RENT DURING APPEAL. (a)

    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 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 in county court under Subsection (a),

    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, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

    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 final judgment of a county court in an

    eviction suit may not be appealed on the issue of possession

    unless the premises in question are being used for residential

    purposes only. A judgment of a county court 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.

    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.

    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.

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