Community Resources for COVID-19
Ordinance Requiring a Landlord to Provide a “Notice of Proposed Eviction”
On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the San Marcos City Council passed an ordinance requiring a landlord to provide a Notice of Proposed Eviction prior to issuing an actual Notice to Vacate. The San Marcos ordinance gives tenants a 90 day period to cure any delinquency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any individual or company that leases residential property in the city of San Marcos must comply with the ordinance.
The ordinance is not a “grace period” to not pay rent; those who can pay should do so. The action is for a tenant and landlord to have an opportunity to cure overdue rent, fees or other charges associated with the tenant’s lease before the tenant loses housing.
The Notice of Proposed Eviction must be in writing and include a statement informing the tenant of their right to respond and cure any delinquent rental payments due for a period of at least 90 days.
After providing a tenant with a Notice of Proposed Eviction, on or after day 91, the 3-day Notice to Vacate may be issued.
The ordinance stays in effect until there is no longer a Declaration of Local Disaster in San Marcos due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The penalty for non-compliance is a fine not to exceed $500 for each day the violation continues.
The COVID-19 pandemic is significant, and in some cases, devastating impact to all who call San Marcos home. Questions have been raised about leases and paying rent when businesses have closed, jobs ended, and Texas State is now virtual learning. By law, a lease is a contractual agreement between a tenant and a landlord/management company. A lease continues to be in effect unless a deal is privately worked out between the tenant and landlord/management company. Unfortunately, the City of San Marcos and Texas State University do not have the legal authority to change or cancel a lease agreement between a tenant and landlord.
If you are a student living off-campus and decide to leave San Marcos, it is strongly recommended you begin communications with your landlord/management company. If you leave your rental for the rest of the semester, you are making a personal and voluntary decision to do so and the lease terms remain in effect.
An immediate source of relief for Hays County tenants is the Justice of the Peace Courts placing all evictions on hold until after May 8th. This delay gives additional time to work with a landlord/management company on possible options. Send your landlord/management company a certified letter (not email) and state if you have lost your job or your wages reduced, the efforts taken to contact potential resources to help pay the rent, and suggestions for an alternative payment plan due to the COVID-19 financial distress. The letter is not a guarantee of any adjustment to the lease agreement. It is a starting place for negotiations.
If you have a specific question about a lease or the eviction process, contact the Austin Tenants’ Council at (512) 474-1961.
Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection:
Please visit the https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html for information regarding cleaning and disinfection recommendations for residences.