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CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  10+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
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Hi I am a landlord with difficult tenants. I actually live

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Hi I am a landlord with difficult tenants. I actually live in Unit#2 of the fourplex that I rent them unit #1.They were on a standard Texas 12 month lease. They have signed an notice to vacate because of a bogus issue. I actually was willing to let them out of their lease with 30 days notice. They communicated to me that there was a health issue with an AC vent in the garage that is could lead to Carbon Monoxide poisoning. They have never parked in the garage.  I entered the unit with witnesses and with giving them 24 hr written notice and corrected the issue. That evening they harassed me at my home after hours and I called the police and I believe that they were charged with criminal trespass. Their written notice to vacate is for Sept 30th, I have evicted people before but they are particularly difficult.  How can I best protect my property and my family?

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Is your concern that the tenants will damage your property over the next 30 days and/or cause violence to you and your family? Do you think they will vacate at the end of the 30 days?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I am concerned with both damage in the next 30 days, but I have their security deposit for that, what I am most concerned with is them not honoring their signed notice to vacate and ongoing harassment because we are landlord occupiers.

Thank you for the additional information. The signed notice is going to control and if they fail to vacate, you would have to proceed with eviction at that time. Seeing how they are the ones that want to get out of the lease and vacate and you are willing to allow it, I am inclined to believe they will leave. If they do not, you could sue them for any rent owned, as well as damages. Seeing how you have their security deposit ,you could always deduct from that, what is legally owed to you. If there were in violation of the lease and you had a legal basis to evict them, you could always try and file a bond for immediate possession to expedite the matter. However, since this is an issue where they want to break the lease and have given you the 30 days notice, it may not be applicable. The harassment is a different issue and could lead to criminal charges, if it continues. You stated above that they were charged with criminal trespass, so they certainly can not come on your property again or else they would likely be arrested. If you are in fear of your safety or that of your family, the police should be called at once. Seeing how you are holding their security deposit and they likely want it back, you should make it clear to them that 1) as long as they vacate on the 30th and 2) there is no damages outside of normal wear and tear, that it will be returned. I know you want to try and be proactive but you may have to wait until the 30 days expire before taking any action, unless of course they are causing damage to the property and you need them out sooner, to preserve it.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I posted this on their door. After their harassment.

On Sept 4th police were called to this address as you made threats regarding our lawful entry to make your requested repairs to your unit. Subsequently, you were charged with Criminal Trespass (PD# XXXXX –(NNN) NNN-NNNN. Be advised that you are presently COMPLETELY PROHIBITED from trespassing onto our property at 1234 Street Units #2, #3, and #4. Video surveillance has been installed and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law should you trespass. You may continue to occupy unit#1 and its driveway to which you hold tenancy until Sept 30th per signed agreement.

Any notices or communication at this point must be sent only via USPS to our address.

Again, you may not approach our property for any reason whatsoever.

On Sept 30th a walk-through is scheduled for surrender of the property.

So my question is what protections am I legally entitled to and how do I ensure that they vacate as stipulated

Can you please clarify and expand on the protections which you are referring to? I understand your concern that they vacate on the agreed upon date but need more information regarding exactly what you want or would like to do, prior to.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Would a protective order be applicable?

How to best do the turning over of the keys/property inspection ensuring my/family's safety?

Are there any special exceptions in property law for landlord occupiers?

If they come on your property again, the police should be called and they should be arrested and charged with trespassing, based upon the notice/warning you provided them and posted. If the harassment continues, then the next step would be to proceed through the court and obtain a court order, that they keep away from you and your family. As far as turning over the keys and the inspection, you want to send them notice and come to an agreed upon date and time. Moreover, you should consider having a third party present, as a witness, if you have concern about the inspection and something they may try and do.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So there are no extra protections for owner occupiers?


Also does the 30 day signed notice to vacate speed up the eviction process or do I still have to serve them notice to vacate as usual? etc..I would like to be prepared as they are unpredictable. What can I do if I start to see damage? Can I schedule periodic inspections?

There would not be an extra protection. The 30 day notice does not speed up the eviction. The reason being, is that after the 30 days expire and if they still remain, they would be hold over tenants and you would need to go through the eviction process, as usual. The only alternative at that point would be to use the bond for immediate possession, which I mentioned above, to speed up the process. If you start to see damage, you need to place them on notice of it. If it continues, you could then proceed with the eviction prior to and would not have to wait for the 30 days to pass, since the property could be destroyed.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So the 30 day notice is their intent to break the lease, what happens if they send me rent the following month? And on what basis can I evict after the 30 days?

The bond for Immediate Possession - is that through JP court? Does there have to be a judgement prior?

If they send the rent the following month, you do not need to accept it. The notice is their intent to vacate and would be binding, absent another agreement with you. After the 30 days, you would evict on the basis that they are holding over, have no legal right to be there and there is no lease in effect, giving them the right to stay. It is through the JP court and there does not have to be a judgment prior to.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just so that I understand it correctly, their 30 day notice is binding and they have forefited their right to tenancy past that date?

Could I file a bond for immediate possession on the day following their move out date? What is the process, can they appeal, is it easier than eviction?

Yes, that would be correct. You have accepted their 30 day notice to vacate and it would be binding. In addition, I have provided you a link below that address the issue with the bond for immediate possession. While the county may be different, the procedure is the same
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I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!