COLLINS & COLLINS
ALAMO EVICTION SERVICES

TENANT SECTION

Nothing on this website is intended as "legal advice" and should not be taken as such.

Alamo Eviction Services is a non-attorney agent representing landlords only.

While tenants may get some benefit from the FAQ below, it is not legal advice and is the ONLY help or advice we have for tenants.

First off, if you have been served with a Notice To Quit And Vacate (eviction notice), you need to be calling your landlord. The telephone number is on the lower portion of the front of the notice.

The Alamo Eviction Services telephone number is not included on the notice, and that is for a reason. Any questions you have must be answered by your landlord.

If don't have a good telephone number for your landlord, you can send us an email to that effect, and we will attempt to get in touch with your landlord to tell them you are trying to call and are unable to.

Other than that, everything about the notice is between you and your landlord. We just serve them.


Below is a FAQ secton for tenants

MY LANDLORD IS ABOUT TO EVICT ME. CAN YOU REPRESENT OR ADVISE ME?
NO. Some of this FAQ may be of help to you, but we can't give legal advice to you, and you should be contacting an attorney if you need advice.

CAN I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE NOTICE!
Well yes, you can refuse to accept it, but you can't refuse the serving of it.
When we knock on your door, it's effectively already been served at that point. After that, it's just a matter of whether you choose to to read it. It IS to your benefit to see what it says. You don't have to read the notice for it to have full legal effect, you only have to be given a fair chance to do so. Nobody answering the door, (whether or not someone is inside the house), someone inside who opens the door but refuses to actually accept the notice, the babysitter accepting or refusing to accept it, or you personally getting it and reading it all carefully... they are all equivalent. A fair chance to read the notice was provided.

ARE YOU TRESPASSING WHEN YOU SERVE THE NOTICE
NO. The owner of a property can't trespass on his own property, even if it's rented. If we are the authorized agent of the landlord, then we effectively ARE the landlord, for the purposes of doing whatever we were specifically sent to do.

WHAT IF I DIDN'T GET A MAILED NOTICE?
If a notice is sent via Certified Mail, and you refused it or the mailman left a notice to come pick it up at the post office, that's the same as if you had gotten it in your hand. The post office reports the date and time of delivery, or of attempted delivery, and that is all the landlord needs to show in court later. You are offered a chance to read the notice and comply with it, and if you don't bother to do either, things proceed as if you did. There is no requirement that mailed notices be sent Certified Mail, though Alamo Eviction Services always uses Certified Mail for mailed notices.

IS THIS FOR REAL??
YES. If it was served to you, or to the property, then yes, it's for real. Your landlord feels that you've done something to make yourself evictable, and you need to comply with the notice, or come to some kind of arrangement with your landlord to avoid winding up in court, and usually sooner than later. Maintaining good contact with your landlord, even if you owe them rent you can't pay is the best thing you can do, and should have been doing before receiving the notice. Quite often, we hear from landlords the the notice is being ordered because the tenant is behind on rent or has some other lease violation, and they are unable to contact the tenant. Many times, the notice could have been avoided by keeping a dialog going with the landlord.

DOESN'T THIS NEED TO BE SERVED BY THE SHERIFF?
NO.
The notice can be served by anyone over the age of sixteen, even your landlord or the mailman. The first time you will see a uniformed deputy will be after you have failed to comply with the notice. By then, a lawsuit will have already been filed against you, and he will be doing a process service on you, with your citation and court date.

THIS SAYS 3 DAYS; DON'T I GET 30 DAYS?
NO, you don't get more than 3 full days.
If you are a month-to-month tenant, AND you have done nothing wrong, your landlord must give you 30 days notice if they want you out. They need no reason before doing this; the fact that they want you gone is all it takes, so long as you get your 30 days. If you do something wrong, such as being two days late in paying the rent, they can get you out on a 3-day notice, no problem.

CAN YOU GIVE MY LANDLORD A MESSAGE FOR ME
NO. We didn't come from your landlord's office, and won't be returning there, and don't act as an intermediary between you and your landlord, unless you are already a defendant in an eviction suit we are handling. Until that point, everything is between you and your landlord. We just delivered the Notice To Quit. Call your landlord if you have a message for him/her.

WILL THIS NOTICE AFFECT MY CREDIT RECORD?
NO. If the notice doesn't get resolved, and goes on to trial, THAT will affect your credit and will start showing on tenant screening reports, if you lose the case. That will also make it harder to find rental housing. But the notice itself is only between you and your landlord and if you can resolve things with your landlord within 3 days, it just stays that way. The notice, or even information that one has been served isn't available to credit bureaus or tenant screening services. Unless your landlord moves on to an eviction suit and wins, it stays just between you and your landlord.

WHY DID I SEE YOU SNOOPING AROUND MY HOUSE AND LOOKING IN MY WINDOWS?
We do evictions, but also do occupancy inspections for landlords, both outside inspections and full inside ones.
If we knock on the door, then someone answers and says they still live there, the inspection ends.
If nobody answers, the next step is to see if the water and electricity are working, and to look into any windows which might not have curtains or blinds completely closed. In some cases, we may have a door key, and open the front or back door to look for presence of furniture. The inspection stops if someone answers the door, or if we open it to find a fully-furnished house. An outside-only inspection goes on until we have determined as well as possible that someone still occupies or doesn't occupy the house. If you're home, and don't want us peeping in your windows, turning on your outside faucets, etc., then you should answer the door.

CAN I HOLD BACK RENT BECAUSE MY LANDLORD HASN'T MADE REPAIRS
NO.
There are two types of repairs, "Habitability" and Regular. Your landlord is not required to make regular repairs when there is delinquent rent. Ironically, by withholding rent, you relieve your landlord of responsibility to make regular repairs, which he would otherwise need to make. For Habitability repairs, the landlord must make them whether you have delinquent rent or not, if you do things correctly on your end. OR, he must let you out of your lease, and refund any pro-rated unused rent, if your rent has already been paid for the month. You must submit a written demand to make habitability repairs and if they aren't made within seven days, you have actions you can take, but you might want to see an attorney about them because you can also make things worse for yourself by exercising them if they aren't actually habitability issues. Your definition may or may not be correct. Habitability deals with sewer malfunctions that are not caused by the tenant, doors or windows which don't lock, roof leaks that are so bad they cause the ceiling to fall in, etc. etc. If you think you have other habitability issues, you should consult an attorney to be sure, not this website or any other.

IF MY LANDLORD FILES THE SUIT THEN I PAY EVERYTHING, DOES IT STOP?
NO. Once the suit has been filed, it will continue, unless your landlord requests a dismissal.
That usually involves payment of all back amounts, including late fees and all costs of bringing the suit against you. Even then, it's still at the discretion of your landlord.
Any money you pay before trial, even all of it will be deducted from the complaint amount at time of trial, but paying all of the money will probably still result in your landlord being awarded possession unless you get the case dismissed.

If you can do whatever it takes to make your landlord happy enough to get the suit dismissed, then you will not be left with a judgment against you at all.