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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16090
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Hi, I own a business where I rent rooms to beauticians. They

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Hi, I own a business where I rent rooms to beauticians. They pay their rent to me weekly. One renter has not paid in a couple of weeks. In the past, the previous owner would change the room's locks till the rent was paid. Additionally, I left a note under their door explaining they were behind on their rent as well as texted them. My communications were very professional. They say I'm "harassing" them. My question is: is the changing of the locks legal and am I harassing them? My business is in the state of Texas.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

You have to love deadbeat tenants sometimes... This is not "harassment". While the individual might feel "harassed", "harassment" in a legal sense is based upon the intent of the "harasser", not the feelings of the "harassed". So even though the tenant might feel harassed, that is frankly meaningless. Only in the situation where you intend to harass would that constitute harassment, and if the tenant were to take you to court for that, they would have to prove the harssment, including your intent to harass.

ScottyMacEsq :

As for what you can do:

ScottyMacEsq :

"Self help eviction" (such as changing the locks) is permitted in commercial evictions in Texas, even though they are not permitted in residential evictions.

ScottyMacEsq :

That being said, you should still give notice (written) to the tenant if they are late on their rent, and if they don't pay within 7 days, you can change the lock.

Customer:

excellent. thanks for the information! Bill

ScottyMacEsq :

But a single text is certainly not harassment, particularly when you're seeking money that they owe you. If you were calling and texting them repeatedly, that could constitute harassment, but you have not done anything at this point that would go that far.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

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