TEXAS SUPREME COURT advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy
512.463.1441 or email
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
COURT EXTENDS ORDER FOR EVICTION-DIVERSION PROGRAM
In an order posted Wednesday the Texas Supreme Court extended procedures for landlords and tenants to avoid evictions based on overdue rent.
The order, the Court’s 37th addressing coronavirus pandemic issues, amends legal requirements for landlords and tenants participating in the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. That voluntary program provides rental assistance. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs determines eligibility and, under the program, evictions may be postponed.
If a landlord sues to recover property, the order renews requirements that the property owner and renter be notified that up to 15 months of the rent owed may be paid to stop the eviction. In an eviction trial in a justice court or in a new trial on appeal to a county court the judge is required to outline the eviction-diversion program and abate the eviction proceeding for 60 days if the landlord and tenant agree to participate.
As amended, the new order specifies that landlords and tenants may opt in for the program even after an appeal to county court and, as long as an eviction order has not been issued, landlords and tenants may still agree to participation in the diversion program.
More information on the eviction-diversion program may be found at www.txcourts.gov/eviction-diversion/ and at https://texaslawhelp.org/article/texas-eviction-diversion-program. You may also call Texas Legal Services Center for assistance at 855-270-7655.
The order extends the diversion program for three months to July 27 unless extended by the chief justice.