The Texas Supreme Court halted all eviction hearings until after May 18, 2020; the hearings were reinstated on May 19. The Court also suspended the writs of possession (also known as the 24-hour Notice to Tenant to Leave) from being posted and enforced by an officer to legally remove a tenant until after May 25, 2020; the postings were reinstated on May 26.
The City of Dallas requires landlords to provide a “COVID Notice of Possible Eviction” to all tenants that are unable to make rent prior to providing a notice of eviction. Tenants have 21 days to respond to the notice, providing the landlord with verifiable documentation of financial hardships due to the pandemic. Once the documentation is provided, the tenant will have 60 days to enter into a rental payment plan or other remedial activity agreed upon with their landlord to pay the delinquent rent. During this period, the landlord is prohibited from sending the tenant an eviction or vacation notice. This ordinance expires on the later of the Governor's termination of the State of Disaster due to COVID-19 or the City of Dallas Mayor's termination of the State of Local Disaster due to COVID-19. More information on the City’s COVID-19 eviction process can be found here.
Dallas County has established a tenant hotline to assist those facing eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants can call (214) 653-6563 or (833) 743-0072 or email email@example.com for assistance. Include in your message your name, address, and phone number and a representative will contact you.
If a renter is unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is highly recommended they reach out to their property manager or landlord and notify them of current financial constraints. It is best to make proper arrangements with property managers now (get the arrangements in writing), as all back rent and other fees will be due once eviction court proceedings resume. The moratorium does not affect a renter’s obligation to pay rent; rent still must be paid. Failure to pay by the due date may result in the receipt of an eviction notice; however, court proceedings will not occur until after the moratorium has ended.
Public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) residents facing COVID-19-related hardships should contact their public housing authority to receive direction or assistance.
The Texas Apartment Association has a good resource page for Texas renters.
Rental and Mortgage Payment Assistance
Based on the volume of applications submitted, The City of Dallas Rental and Mortgage Assistance program has reached capacity for the amount of funds available. For a list of resources available through other agencies, please visit www.dallascityhall.com or call 211.
Utility Payment Assistance
Dallas Water Utilities has suspended water service disconnections until further notice. Customers who are financially impacted by COVID-19 should contact Water Customer Service at (214) 651-1441 to make payment arrangements.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas has ordered all retail electric providers to offer a deferred payment plan to any residential customer who requests it. Retail electric providers must also suspend disconnections for residential customers who have been added to the state’s unemployment and low-income list due to the effects of COVID-19. To enroll, contact the state’s low-income list administrator at (866) 454-8387, open 24/7. If you do not qualify for the state’s unemployment and low-income list, contact your individual service provider’s customer service line for alternate assistance options for your plan.
Atmos Energy has temporarily suspended disconnections for all Atmos Energy customers. If you have questions related to your gas bill, please contact Atmos Energy at (888) 286-6700. If you need assistance paying your bill and are not already enrolled to receive assistance through Atmos Energy’s Sharing the Warmth program, please call 211 to find a Share the Warmth non-profit partner.