This Texas Law Lets Your Landlord Take Your TV If You Don’t Pay Rent

Fred Fuchs, an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, says a landlord can take a tenant’s property only because of unpaid rent – not past due utilities, maintenance or other costs

Fred Fuchs, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, says tenants often aren’t aware their landlords can take their property as a way to recoup unpaid rent.

If you’re a renter in Texas, there may be a clause in your lease you haven’t noticed: a landlord’s lien. The clause gives your landlord the right to come into your home and take your personal belongings if you fail to pay rent.

The process is authorized by state law as a way to recoup unpaid rent, but it’s not as simple as your landlord walking into your apartment and taking whatever he or she wants. There are specific rules for how landlords can enforce a lien, says Fred Fuchs, an attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

“A landlord’s lien is a provision in a lease agreement that has to be underlined or in bold print in order to be enforced,” he says.


Tomeka Weatherspoon

Tomeka Weatherspoon

Senior Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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