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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33759
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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I live in Texas and have rented (month to month) to a couple

Customer Question

I live in Texas and have rented (month to month) to a couple who have consistently lied to us (said had 2 dogs, moved 8 into my house), paid late and then had a garage sale and refused to clean it up. City fined US $260 plus my husband had to take a day off work to go to court (another $200). We have served them with a 30 day notice to vacate but really don't have the money to file the court papers to evict (due to losing almost $500 2 months ago because of these idiots). I know that according to state law I am unable to shut off their water, remove doors or windows from the property. But can I remove the fences from the yard and the guard lights from the side of the house to make them want to leave?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: They never returned the lease - excuse after excuse.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I guess not.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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But can I remove the fences from the yard and the guard lights from the side of the house to make them want to leave?

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This is lousy, but no, you can't. The reason is that when they rented the property, they rented it with everything that is on it, fencing and all.. So that could be viewed by a judge as an unlawful "self help" eviction action and open you up to liability to be sued.

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And with people like this, you don't want to do anything improper to give them a reason to sue you because they will. But whatever I had to do to get the fees, I would do, because if you don't then they will stop paying rent and then you will be in an even worse position.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I may as well just shoot myself then. These people live in the house next door and I can't even turn the kitchen light on without their dogs raising hell.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thank you anyway
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

Yes, that is a pretty lousy situation to have to deal with.. But again, they may be just waiting for you to do something wrong so they can pounce and file a suit in a money grab..

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience,even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Are you a member of the Texas Bar or are you just going on general knowledge
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

I am not located in TX, but this is a universal concept in the US regarding landlord tenant relations. Whatever is there when you rent the place goes with the tenancy. I just don't want to see you do anything to open yourself up to being sued...

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I mean, you can do what you want, but just so you know that they could potentially claim you are trying to illegally evict them without proper due process and seek damages.. Would they?.... no way of knowing unless you take action and they they do.

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thanks

Barrister

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