How To Evict A Family Member In Texas

Dealing with the difficult process of evicting a family member from your Texas home can be an emotionally trying and legally complex situation. If you find yourself needing to remove a relative from your property, it’s crucial to understand your rights and follow proper legal protocols.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: legally evicting a family member in Texas requires serving them proper notice to vacate, filing an eviction lawsuit if they refuse to leave, and getting a court order from a judge to forcibly remove them if necessary.

Serving Proper Notice to Vacate

When it becomes necessary to evict a family member in Texas, it is important to follow the proper legal procedures. The first step in this process is serving the family member with a written notice to vacate.

This notice serves as official documentation of your intention to reclaim possession of the property and gives the family member an opportunity to comply with your request.

Written Notice Requirements

According to Texas law, the written notice must include certain key details. It should state the reason for the eviction, whether it is due to non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms, or any other valid reason.

The notice should also include the date by which the family member must vacate the premises. Additionally, it is important to include your contact information in case the family member wishes to discuss the matter further.

Pro tip: To ensure compliance with legal requirements, it is advisable to consult with an attorney or refer to the Texas Property Code for specific guidelines regarding the written notice.

Delivery of Notice

Once the written notice is prepared, it must be properly delivered to the family member. Texas law allows for several methods of delivery, including personal delivery, certified mail, or even posting the notice on the front door of the property.

It is recommended to keep a copy of the notice and proof of delivery for your records.

Did you know? If the family member is not present at the property, it may be necessary to send the notice to their last known address or even hire a process server to ensure proper delivery.

Notice Periods

Texas law establishes specific notice periods depending on the circumstances of the eviction. For most cases, a 30-day notice is required. However, if the family member has failed to pay rent, a shorter notice period of three days may be sufficient.

It is crucial to adhere to these notice periods to avoid any potential legal complications.

Important: It is important to note that the eviction process can vary depending on the specific circumstances and local regulations. It is always recommended to seek legal advice or consult the Texas Property Code to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and procedures.

For more information on evicting a family member in Texas, you can visit the official website of the Texas Property Code.

Filing an Eviction Lawsuit

If you find yourself in the difficult situation of needing to evict a family member in Texas, it’s important to understand the proper legal process. Filing an eviction lawsuit is the first step towards resolving the issue.

This process involves several key steps that must be followed carefully to ensure a smooth and successful eviction.

Eviction Petition

The first step in filing an eviction lawsuit is to draft and file an eviction petition with the appropriate court. The petition should include details such as the reason for eviction, the relationship between you and the family member, and any evidence or documentation supporting your case.

It’s crucial to be thorough and accurate in this process to maximize your chances of success.

When drafting the eviction petition, it’s advisable to seek legal advice or consult a professional to ensure that you are following all relevant laws and regulations. They can also help you gather the necessary documentation and evidence to support your case.

Going to Court

Once the eviction petition has been filed, you will receive a court date for your case. It is essential to prepare thoroughly for your court appearance. This includes gathering all relevant documents, such as the lease agreement, any written notices given to the family member, and any evidence of lease violations or non-payment of rent.

On the day of the court hearing, it’s important to arrive early and dress appropriately. Present your case clearly and concisely, providing any evidence or documentation to support your claims. It’s important to remain calm and professional throughout the process, even if tensions are high.

Getting a Judgment

After presenting your case in court, the judge will make a decision and issue a judgment. If the judgment is in your favor, it will typically include an order for the family member to vacate the premises within a specified timeframe.

It’s important to note that even with a judgment in your favor, you must follow the proper legal process to enforce the eviction. This may involve hiring a constable or sheriff to physically remove the family member from the property if they refuse to leave voluntarily.

Remember, the eviction process can be complex and emotionally challenging, especially when involving family members. It’s advisable to seek legal counsel or consult relevant resources, such as the Texas Bar Association, for guidance and support throughout the process.

Forcibly Removing Family Member

When it comes to evicting a family member in Texas, there are legal procedures that must be followed. If all attempts at resolving the issue have failed, it may be necessary to forcibly remove the family member from the property.

This involves obtaining a writ of possession and seeking assistance from law enforcement.

Writ of Possession

A writ of possession is a court order that grants the landlord or property owner the right to take back possession of their property. In the case of evicting a family member, this legal document allows you to regain control of the property and remove the individual in question.

To obtain a writ of possession, you will need to file an eviction lawsuit against the family member. This involves going through the proper legal channels, such as serving them with a notice to vacate and filing the necessary paperwork with the court.

It is important to consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law to ensure that you follow all the correct procedures.

Law Enforcement

Once you have obtained a writ of possession, you can enlist the help of law enforcement to carry out the eviction. In Texas, this typically involves contacting the local sheriff’s office or constable’s office to schedule a time for the eviction to take place.

On the designated day, law enforcement will arrive at the property to oversee the eviction process. It is essential to be prepared and have all necessary documentation, including the writ of possession and any other relevant court orders, readily available.

During the eviction, law enforcement officers will ensure that the family member leaves the premises peacefully. If they refuse to comply, officers have the authority to physically remove the individual and their belongings from the property.

Note: It is important to remember that forcibly removing a family member from your property is a serious matter. It is always recommended to seek legal advice and explore all possible alternatives before resorting to eviction.

Special Circumstances

While evicting a family member in Texas can be a challenging and emotional process, there are certain special circumstances that may arise during the eviction process. Understanding these circumstances can help you navigate the legal procedures and ensure a smoother eviction process.

Here are some important special circumstances to be aware of:

Restraining Orders

In cases where there is a history of domestic violence or threats, it may be necessary to obtain a restraining order against the family member you are trying to evict. A restraining order can provide legal protection and help ensure the safety of you and your family.

It is important to consult with a qualified attorney to understand the process of obtaining a restraining order and how it can impact the eviction process.

Squatters Rights

In some situations, a family member may claim squatters rights, also known as adverse possession. This occurs when a person occupies a property without the owner’s permission for a certain period of time and meets specific legal requirements.

While squatters rights are generally not applicable to family members living in a property owned by another family member, it is always advisable to consult with an attorney to fully understand your rights and obligations in such cases.

Property Damage

If the family member you are evicting has caused significant damage to the property, it is important to document the damage thoroughly. Take photographs, gather evidence, and keep records of any repairs or losses incurred.

This documentation will be crucial in proving the extent of the damage and seeking compensation for repairs during the eviction process.

Remember, each eviction case is unique, and it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in eviction laws in Texas. They will be able to provide you with specific advice tailored to your situation and help you navigate any special circumstances that may arise during the eviction process.

Alternatives to Eviction

Evicting a family member can be a difficult and emotionally challenging process. However, in some cases, it may be the only option to resolve conflicts and maintain peace in the household. Before pursuing eviction, it is important to consider alternative solutions that may help resolve the issues without resorting to legal action.

Cash for Keys

One alternative to eviction is the “cash for keys” approach. This involves offering the family member a financial incentive to voluntarily move out of the property. The idea is to provide them with a sum of money in exchange for vacating the premises peacefully and without any further disputes.

This can be a win-win situation, as it allows the family member to find alternative housing while avoiding the stress and expense of eviction proceedings.

Did you know? According to a study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 78% of evictions are filed by landlords against tenants, with family members being a significant portion of those cases.

Mediation Services

Another alternative to eviction is seeking the assistance of mediation services. Mediation involves bringing in a neutral third party who can help facilitate discussions and negotiations between the family members involved.

The mediator’s goal is to help the parties find common ground and reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Mediation can be a cost-effective and less adversarial option compared to eviction, allowing the family members to work through their differences in a controlled and structured environment.

Several organizations provide mediation services in Texas, such as the Dispute Resolution Centers (DRCs) and the Texas Association of Mediators. These organizations can help guide families through the mediation process and assist in finding a resolution that meets everyone’s needs.

Fun Fact: Did you know that in Texas, mediation services are often used in family law cases to help divorcing couples resolve disputes and reach agreements amicably?


Evicting a family member in Texas can be a difficult and complex legal process. By understanding the proper protocols around serving notice, filing a lawsuit, and obtaining a court order, you can ensure you follow the letter of the law. While eviction should always be a last resort, knowing your rights and options can help make the process go as smoothly as possible if you have no other choice but to remove a relative from your home.

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