TEXAS PROPERTY CODE TITLE 8. LANDLORD AND TENANT CHAPTER 92. RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS Sec. 92.0081. REMOVAL OF PROPERTY AND EXCLUSION OF RESIDENTIAL TENANT. (a) A landlord may not remove a door, window, or attic hatchway cover or a lock, latch, hinge, hinge pin, doorknob, or other mechanism connected to a door, window, or attic hatchway cover from premises leased to a tenant or remove furniture, fixtures, or appliances furnished by the landlord from premises leased to a tenant unless the landlord removes the item for a bona fide repair or replacement. If a landlord removes any of the items listed in this subsection for a bona fide repair or replacement, the repair or replacement must be promptly performed. (b) A landlord may not intentionally prevent a tenant from entering the leased premises except by judicial process unless the exclusion results from: (1) bona fide repairs, construction, or an emergency;(2) removing the contents of premises abandoned by a tenant; or(3) changing the door locks on the door to the tenant's individual unit of a tenant who is delinquent in paying at least part of the rent. (c) If a landlord or a landlord's agent changes the door lock of a tenant who is delinquent in paying rent, the landlord or the landlord's agent must place a written notice on the tenant's front door stating:(1) an on-site location where the tenant may go 24 hours a day to obtain the new key or a telephone number that is answered 24 hours a day that the tenant may call to have a key delivered within two hours after calling the number;(2) the fact that the landlord must provide the new key to the tenant at any hour, regardless of whether or not the tenant pays any of the delinquent rent; and(3) the amount of rent and other charges for which the tenant is delinquent. (d) A landlord may not intentionally prevent a tenant from entering the leased premises under Subsection (b)(3) unless:(1) the landlord's right to change the locks because of a tenant's failure to timely pay rent is placed in the lease;(2) the tenant is delinquent in paying all or part of the rent; and (3) the landlord has locally mailed not later than the fifth calendar day before the date on which the door locks are changed or hand-delivered to the tenant or posted on the inside of the main entry door of the tenant's dwelling not later than the third calendar day before the date on which the door locks are changed a written notice stating:(A) the earliest date that the landlord proposes to change the door locks;(B) the amount of rent the tenant must pay to prevent changing of the door locks;(C) the name and street address of the individual to whom, or the location of the on-site management office at which, the delinquent rent may be discussed or paid during the landlord's normal business hours; and(D) in underlined or bold print, the tenant's right to receive a key to the new lock at any hour, regardless of whether the tenant pays the delinquent rent. (e) A landlord may not change the locks on the door of a tenant's dwelling under Subsection (b)(3) on a day, or on a day immediately before a day, on which the landlord or other designated individual is not available, or on which any on-site management office is not open, for the tenant to tender the delinquent rent. (e-1) A landlord who changes the locks or otherwise prevents a tenant from entering the tenant's individual rental unit may not change the locks or otherwise prevent a tenant from entering a common area of residential rental property. (f) A landlord who intentionally prevents a tenant from entering the tenant's dwelling under Subsection (b)(3) must provide the tenant with a key to the changed lock on the dwelling without regard to whether the tenant pays the delinquent rent. (g) If a landlord arrives at the dwelling in a timely manner in response to a tenant's telephone call to the number contained in the notice as described by Subsection (c)(1) and the tenant is not present to receive the key to the changed lock, the landlord shall leave a notice on the front door of the dwelling stating the time the landlord arrived with the key and the street address to which the tenant may go to obtain the key during the landlord's normal office hours. (h) If a landlord violates this section, the tenant may:(1) either recover possession of the premises or terminate the lease; and(2) recover from the landlord a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $1,000, actual damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees in an action to recover property damages, actual expenses, or civil penalties, less any delinquent rent or other sums for which the tenant is liable to the landlord. (i) If a landlord violates Subsection (f), the tenant may recover, in addition to the remedies provided by Subsection (h), an additional civil penalty of one month's rent. (j) A provision of a lease that purports to waive a right or to exempt a party from a liability or duty under this section is void. (k) A landlord may not change the locks on the door of a tenant's dwelling under Subsection (b)(3):(1) when the tenant or any other legal occupant is in the dwelling; or(2) more than once during a rental payment period. (l) This section does not affect the ability of a landlord to pursue other available remedies, including the remedies provided by Chapter 24. Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3632, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 200, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 26, 1985. Renumbered from Sec. 91.002 by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 683, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 31, 1987. Amended as Sec. 91.002 by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 826, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987. Renumbered from Sec. 91.002 and amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 689, Sec. 1, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Redesignated from Property Code Sec. 92.008(b) to (f) and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 952, Sec. 1, Sept. 1, 1995.Amended by: Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 917, Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2008. Sec. 92.009. RESIDENTIAL TENANT'S RIGHT OF REENTRY AFTER UNLAWFUL LOCKOUT. (a) If a landlord has locked a tenant out of leased premises in violation of Section 92.008, the tenant may recover possession of the premises as provided by this section. (b) The tenant must file with the justice court in the precinct in which the rental premises are located a sworn complaint for reentry, specifying the facts of the alleged unlawful lockout by the landlord or the landlord's agent. The tenant must also state orally under oath to the justice the facts of the alleged unlawful lockout. (c) If the tenant has complied with Subsection (b) and if the justice reasonably believes an unlawful lockout has likely occurred, the justice may issue, ex parte, a writ of reentry that entitles the tenant to immediate and temporary possession of the premises, pending a final hearing on the tenant's sworn complaint for reentry. (d) The writ of reentry must be served on either the landlord or the landlord's management company, on-premises manager, or rent collector in the same manner as a writ of possession in a forcible detainer action. A sheriff or constable may use reasonable force in executing a writ of reentry under this section. (e) The landlord is entitled to a hearing on the tenant's sworn complaint for reentry. The writ of reentry must notify the landlord of the right to a hearing. The hearing shall be held not earlier than the first day and not later than the seventh day after the date the landlord requests a hearing. (f) If the landlord fails to request a hearing on the tenant's sworn complaint for reentry before the eighth day after the date of service of the writ of reentry on the landlord under Subsection (d), a judgment for court costs may be rendered against the landlord. (g) A party may appeal from the court's judgment at the hearing on the sworn complaint for reentry in the same manner as a party may appeal a judgment in a forcible detainer suit. (h) If a writ of possession is issued, it supersedes a writ of reentry. (i) If the landlord or the person on whom a writ of reentry is served fails to immediately comply with the writ or later disobeys the writ, the failure is grounds for contempt of court against the landlord or the person on whom the writ was served, under Section 21.002, Government Code. If the writ is disobeyed, the tenant or the tenant's attorney may file in the court in which the reentry action is pending an affidavit stating the name of the person who has disobeyed the writ and describing the acts or omissions constituting the disobedience. On receipt of an affidavit, the justice shall issue a show cause order, directing the person to appear on a designated date and show cause why he should not be adjudged in contempt of court. If the justice finds, after considering the evidence at the hearing, that the person has directly or indirectly disobeyed the writ, the justice may commit the person to jail without bail until the person purges himself of the contempt in a manner and form as the justice may direct. If the person disobeyed the writ before receiving the show cause order but has complied with the writ after receiving the order, the justice may find the person in contempt and assess punishment under Section 21.002(c), Government Code. (j) This section does not affect a tenant's right to pursue a separate cause of action under Section 92.008. (k) If a tenant in bad faith files a sworn complaint for reentry resulting in a writ of reentry being served on the landlord or landlord's agent, the landlord may in a separate cause of action recover from the tenant an amount equal to actual damages, one month's rent or $500, whichever is greater, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs of court, less any sums for which the landlord is liable to the tenant. (l) The fee for filing a sworn complaint for reentry is the same as that for filing a civil action in justice court. The fee for service of a writ of reentry is the same as that for service of a writ of possession. The fee for service of a show cause order is the same as that for service of a civil citation. The justice may defer payment of the tenant's filing fees and service costs for the sworn complaint for reentry and writ of reentry. Court costs may be waived only if the tenant executes a pauper's affidavit. (m) This section does not affect the rights of a landlord or tenant in a forcible detainer or forcible entry and detainer action. Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 687, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.