DFW evictions: Where do we stand?

July 28, 2020 by Ted Bauer

Some of the evictions background

There was essentially a four-month pause on evictions via the CARES Act, which expired this past weekend. The dire projection when it ended was that 23 million Americans could lose their housing, with potentially 1.8 million of those in North Texas.

Now, the good news is that while there are some political fights still ongoing, a "CARES 2" package is likely to be passed, and will include additional $1,200 checks and an eviction extension. 

The situation in Texas has been touch and go. Between mid-March and mid-May, DFW landlords filed over 1100 eviction petitions. Landlords were advised to refrain from evictions while the pandemic numbers were spiking, but not all landlords did. 

The difference in core DFW areas

Let's start with Dallas. Here are the core COVID-19 eviction facts for Big D. Dallas had one advantage over other big urban Texas areas: it already had a local ordinance requiring landlords to provide 60 days notice to tenants. Without that ordinance, there would be limited protections against evictions.

But the issue is, even with federal and state protections, you are still seeing evictions. Look at Fort Worth/Tarrant County. 942 evictions were filed in county court between June 1 and July 14. 119 of them, or 13%, were filed at properties covered under CARES. Fort Worth does have an Emergency Household Assistance Program.

Collin County also has a CARES Program. Collin did resume eviction hearings in June. A Collin eviction case appeared on NPR this June, as well.

The elephant in the eviction room

If you are processed for an eviction, it has the potential to hurt your future renting (and buying) prospects, even if you're currently laid-off and get back to working or finding sources of income. So while we're dealing with the short-term repercussions now politically and adminstratively, there's a bigger, longer-term picture around credit and rent history that hasn't really been discussed yet. CNBC has touched on a little bit, but not much.

So what now?

Research the provisions and protections for your county. The process that evictions follow is embedded at the state level; here's the code that governs it. Counties and specific Justices of the Peace may interpret parts of the process differently, which is where confusion can reign supreme at times. 

Keep an eye on what's happening with CARES 2.

You can give us a call. We cannot necessarily help you get an extension, but we can walk through different short- and long-term options with you, and point you towards complexes that might be a better fit price-wise, even if they're a little further away than what you need right now. 

This is not perfect because of how our back-end database works, but, for example ... we do have 808 complexes that potentially have some rent options under $800/month. Why do we say "potentially?" Because if you land on a complex -- say, 500 Flats in Fort Worth -- and see they have a listing for $800 at 545 square feet, notice also that the listing is "unavailable." That's a trigger that often means $800 was the last price it was rented at. The complex may go above $800 when they want to make the apartment available again, so it's not a perfect system, but that link above to 808 different complexes can give you a guide to some potentially-cheaper places. You can then use the right side to sort it by location (Frisco, Plano, Denton, Richardson, et al).

Let us know how we can help. We're here for you.


About the Author

Ted Bauer

Ted Bauer is a writer/editor for White Rock Locators focused on as much cool content about the DFW Metroplex rental scene as he can possibly find week-to-week.