If you operate a recreational vehicle park (RV Park) in Texas, occasions will always arise where you would need to evict a customer or a tenant. The nature of an RV Park gives room for tenants to stay in your facility for a short term which may range from days to weeks and even months.
The fact that owners of recreational vehicles pay rent to make use of recreational vehicle parks gives room for some of them to overstay the duration of their payment. The reason for that could range from lack of money to continue to pay for their stay or misunderstanding with the management of the park, or even someone who is posing as a threat to other RV Park users.
If you are confronted with the decision to evict someone from your recreational vehicle park in Texas, then the following steps should guide you in the eviction process without breaking the law.
Steps for Eviction from RV Park in Texas
Table of Content
- STEP ONE: Understand the Eviction Laws in Texas
- 10 Most Important Texas Laws for Eviction from RV Park
- STEP TWO: Have a Valid Reason for Wanting to Evict a Camper or Tenant from Your RV Park
- STEP THREE: Appeal to the Conscience of Your Tenants
- STEP FOUR: Issue a Formal Notice of Eviction
- STEP FIVE: File Your Case (Eviction Notice) with the Courts
- STEP SIX: Prepare for and Attend the Court Hearing
- STEP SEVEN: Evicting the Tenant
- STEP EIGHT: Collecting All Payments Due You
- Small Claims Court
- Garnish their Wages
- Garnish their Tax Refund
- Use a Private Debt Collector
STEP ONE: Understand the Eviction Laws in Texas
When it comes to the eviction of a tenant or a camper in a facility in Texas, it is important to point out that the eviction laws are different from state to state. It will do you a whole lot of good to consider them while writing up your rent or lease agreement with a camper or a tenant.
In order to be on the side of the law, it is advisable to make use of a rent or lease agreement that is written by lawyers, and specifically designed for Texas. Although, US Legal Forms has some great lease options that will keep you safe, legally.
10 Most Important Texas Laws for Eviction from RV Park
- An RV park owner who wants to remove an RV tenant from a park must file an eviction lawsuit.
- The first step in a residential eviction is delivering a written notice to vacate to the tenant.
- Unless the RV rental agreement contains alternative provisions, the park owner must give the tenant at least three days to move out.
- The tenants can file a response and argue their position at the eviction hearing.
- If the court rules in favor of the park owner, the tenant has five days in which to appeal. If they do not do so, the court grants a writ of possession.
- The constable posts a 24-hour notice before executing the writ and removing the RV.
- An owner or manager of an RV park may evict an RV tenant if they fail to pay the rent. They can also evict if the tenant fails to live up to any particular provision of the contract. And if the RV occupant is a guest/licensee rather than a tenant, the owner does not need to cite a reason to withdraw the license.
- If the RV park management chooses not to renew a contract, they must notify the RV occupant at least 60 days before the last day of the lease or else allow the occupant to remain for 60 days after the notice of non-renewal.
- If an RV owner opts not to take a space in an RV park, what are their other options? There are no state laws in Texas forbidding an RV to be parked on the streets, but neither is there a state law allowing this. Each city makes its own local laws about these matters and they vary widely.
- It is legal in Texas to park an RV overnight at a truck stop. And most Walmart stores also allow free overnight parking for RVs in their parking lots.
STEP TWO: Have a Valid Reason for Wanting to Evict a Camper or Tenant from Your RV Park
Before you consider evicting a camper or a tenant from your recreational vehicle park in Texas, you don’t want to start the process if you don’t have a good and lawful reason to do so. Naturally, the following reasons will be good enough to evict someone from your recreational vehicle park in Texas:
- Failure to pay rent
- Going against the lease/agreement
- Causing significant damage to property
- Breaking noise, occupancy, or health ordinances
- Health or safety hazards caused by the tenant
Please note that you would need documented proof of any claim against your tenant. “Innocent until proven guilty” is still an overarching rule in the U.S. court system.
STEP THREE: Appeal to the Conscience of Your Tenants
Although there might be a strong need to evict a camper or tenant from your recreational vehicle park in Texas, doing that might pitch you against the law of Texas. If you find yourself in such a situation, the best thing to do is to appeal to the conscience of your tenant or camper to leave your recreational vehicle park in peace.
In such a situation, even if they have outstanding payments to make, you might be forced to let it roll as long as they vacate your facility. As a peace-loving person, even if the law is on your side, you should still try as much as possible to appeal to the conscience of your tenant to leave your recreational vehicle park without further delay.
STEP FOUR: Issue a Formal Notice of Eviction
If your camper or tenant has chosen to be uncooperative, and you have established that you have the legal right to evict your tenant, you will need to make sure you follow the set legal procedures. The major step you are expected to take in this regard is to provide acceptable “notice of eviction”.
This is usually a simple document or form that gives an ultimatum – telling your tenant why they are being evicted and what they can do to avoid that eviction; pay rent, clean up the house, etc. In Texas and of course in almost all the states in the United States, an Eviction Notice;
- Should include a deadline (date) to “pay-rent or move out”.
- Should include the amount owed (including all fees)
- You are typically required to post this notice within X number of days before filing the eviction paperwork with your local court.
- This document should be taped to their front door, as well as sent via Certified Mail / Return Receipt Requested with the United States Postal Service (USPS)
- Make it easy on yourself – use a state-specific eviction form template.
STEP FIVE: File Your Case (Eviction Notice) with the Courts
Please note that your eviction notice will not be valid without the approval of the court which is why you must endeavor to visit your local courthouse to file your eviction and pay a fee (try not to think about all the money, time, and energy that your tenant is costing you), at which point the clerk will schedule your hearing and will eventually notify the tenant on your behalf – via a summon.
In court, you will have to present proof (via receipt from certified mail) that you have given the proper amount of time that your state requires for an eviction notice.
STEP SIX: Prepare for and Attend the Court Hearing
In case the tenant wants to go all the way, then you should be ready to go all the way with him or her. It means you should ensure that you have all related documentation and proof of your claim.
Some of the items you should ensure you have readily available are; lease agreements, bounced checks, records of payment of any kind, records of the communication between you and your tenant (phone and email records), a copy of the written notice that you provided your tenant, dated proof that the tenant received the notice (a signature from the tenant, or receipt from the Post Office).
Please note that if you don’t have all the needed documents or if you cannot prove your case in court, the case might turn against you. This is why you must always be honest and let your documentation and available evidence speak for themselves.
STEP SEVEN: Evicting the Tenant
If the court rules in your favor, your tenant will have a set amount of time to leave, which is anywhere from 48 hours to a week, depending on where you live.
If your tenant doesn’t leave on time and wants to prove stubborn, you have the right to get someone from the Sheriff’s department to escort them out and place their possessions on the curb. It is definitely not a favorable outcome, but it does happen.
STEP EIGHT: Collecting All Payments Due You
If the tenant or camper stayed longer than expected and has incurred more debt in the process, you might be forced to collect all the outstanding amount due you and you can do that by following the process below;
Small Claims Court
Some courts allow you to combine eviction and small claims lawsuits if they are related and involve the same individuals. If this is the case, you can sue for any back-due rent at the same time as the eviction case. If your local court does not allow this, you will have to file a separate small claims lawsuit to pursue the owed rent money.
Garnish their Wages
If the judge determines that the tenant does owe you the past-due rent, you will receive a “judgment” in your favor. This judgment will be delivered in the form of a court order, which you can give to the tenant’s employer. This will force the employer to garnish the tenant’s wages, and then pay you before the tenant gets paid.
Garnish their Tax Refund
Believe it or not, you can actually garnish their tax refund. RentPrep explained this process in the article: How to Execute Tax Refund Garnishments for Past Due Rent.
Wouldn’t that be a surprise when the tenant is expecting a $1,000 refund from the government, and it all goes to you instead?
Use a Private Debt Collector
Debt collection companies like Rent Recovery Service will help you collect the debt and will report it to the 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). It is important to let the credit bureaus know about this dead-beat tenant so that future landlords will know to avoid him/her.
In Texas, some RV parks operate like hotels, allowing RV guests to pass some time there. The RV occupants do not have exclusive possession but only a nonexclusive license to use the premises for a given amount of time. That license is granted at will and can be withdrawn at any time.
In Texas, the owner of an RV park that functions as a hotel does not have to initiate eviction proceedings before removing an RV owner from the premises. The manager or owner may eject the RV owner after reasonable notice.