Evictions across Texas halted until mid-April due to COVID-19

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling last week to halt all eviction cases until mid-April.

This ruling comes after many people lost their jobs from COVID-19 concerns that spread throughout the state. The current decision was made to stop all proceedings until April 19, and the earliest someone could lose their home would be April 26.

In Brazos County, Justice of the Peace Rick Hill says they took that ruling to heart and shut down pending cases to give people time to figure this all out.

“There has been 11 evictions filed in all of Brazos County since March 19,” said Judge Hill.

Typically, on any given week, Hill says they see about 80 to 100 cases being filed for eviction. Hill says the process varies by case.

“Some landlords will file with one month's rent delinquent. Some will file with six or seven months delinquent. Landlords, if they like tenants and have tenants and the tenants have issues, then they work with them and they try to hang on,” Judge Hill said.

The process, from a landlord filing for eviction, to the time of actually being taken out of the home typically lasts about a month. Now, with things being pushed back because of COVID-19 concerns, Hill says it could be a couple of months before anything happens.

“When it is time to start back up, we are not going to be all fired up about 'let's schedule 200 evictions the first week we can.' That’s not going to happen in Brazos County,” said Judge Hill.

Leaders at property management company Twin City Properties in Bryan say they are taking this situation case by case as well.

“We have a lot of different residents with a lot of different stories. So to say, ‘Hey, we are going to do this or that this is the game plan,' that wouldn’t be fair,” said Twin City Properties President Alex Sezer.

Judge Hill says he believes after the courts are able to start hearing cases again, and companies and stores reopen, there will be a lot of understanding from both sides.

“We are all in this together. But, landlords yes, they run a business and they have to run that business. But they understand we are in uncharted territories here,” said Judge Hill.

Hill says if there are any questions regarding eviction worries, their office remains open, and can be reached here.