Property owners in general get the short end of the stick when it comes to tenant default in Texas. The only recourse an owner or property manager has when a tenant skips out is filing a small claims up to $10,000. The unfortunate situation is tenants are not required to pay the amount of the default judgement.
An owner or manager can order and file what is called an “abstract” with the county clerks office. If that tenant needs to borrow money to purchase a car, house or other item they will have to clear up the judgement prior to getting a loan. It is a “lien” on the tenant. However, this abstract has to be filed in every county that the tenant would potentially buy something. If they leave the county or state for that matter it is irrelevant.
We have been filing abstracts for several years now and none of them have come back to us. One other recourse that a landlord or manager has which seems to be a little more effective and immediate is possessing non-exempt property from the tenants dwelling. Non-exempt property is outlined in the Texas Property Code. Of course, this is an option to be performed prior to the tenant skipping. This option can force the tenant to pay their rent or lose the possessions. We have found this to be the most effective recourse an owner or manager can have. There are no courts involved and the results are immediate. The downside is if your tenant has nothing of value then you have nothing to take.
The life of a property manager or investor of rental properties is not glorifying but austin property team helps eliminate some of those frustrations.