they has been staying in this apartment for 11 months of a 12 month lease. recently fell on hard times and tried to make arrangements with the landlord. landlord say no. they told him that he must turn in his keys this weekend. tenant offered to pay 1/2 this week and 1/2 next week. could they work with them 1 more month before lease is up in july? No, they say tenant must get out with their baby. Isn't it true that a tenant, for whatever reason, doesn't have to get out until landlord take them to court? Or must they turn in their keys and be on the street before even seeing a judge?
They don't have to get out until a judge tells them they have to. However, this will end up costing them more in the long run. And if they didn't pay rent on time then they will probably lose in court.
Short answer: no. LL must give tenant a written 3-day notice to vacate and then can file a forcible detainer action in the JP court. The tenant will be served with the suit and given notice of the date of the hearing. Tenant doesn't just "turn over the keys" before a suit is even filed. However, the eviction will be listed as a judgment against the tenant - and this may make it more difficult for the tenant to find another apartment.
The landlord can't force the tenant out until they go to court and get an order evicting the tenant.
The Notice to Vacate is the first step in the eviction process. If the tenant does not leave by the date on the notice, the landlord must file a forcible detainer (eviction) lawsuit before they can have the tenant removed. There are specific legal requirements for the Notice to Vacate.
This is a pretty good synopsis of the process - http://texastenant.org/eviction.html
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