City of Austin’s Notice of Proposed Eviction Requirement Extended Until December 31

COVID-19 News , Industry ,

On Thursday, September 17, the Austin City Council added an extension to the ordinance requiring a 60-day “Notice of Proposed Eviction” before an official “Notice to Vacate” can be posted using the normal procedures outlined in the Texas Property Code. The ordinance was set to expire on September 30, but has now been extended to December 31 to coincide with the expiration of the eviction protections included in the recently enacted federal eviction moratorium by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This was the third time this Austin ordinance has been extended.

As now extended, any rents due between March 26 and December 31 will require a 60-day Notice of Proposed Eviction before a Notice to Vacate (NTV) can be issued for that rent due. The notice requirement does not apply to any evictions necessary for criminal conduct by a resident or their guest.

Before the vote, the Austin Apartment Association (AAA) alerted the membership about the pending action and asked members to tell the city council about how this ordinance, and the related city and county orders preventing the issuance of a Notice to Vacate (NTV), are interfering with timely rent payments and impacting their property and property management operations. Nearly 175 letters were sent to the Mayor and city council members.  In addition to the letters sent, AAA staff and several members spoke in opposition the extension. The Mayor and council acknowledged the industry’s input and have directed city staff to identify funds and possible program ideas to help rental property owners mitigate their growing amount of uncollected rent.  

Since the ordinance was originally adopted in March, the ordinance was amended to allow the 60-day Proposed Notice of Eviction to be delivered “electronically to an impacted tenant using an email address the landlord uses to communicate with the impacted tenant in the regular course of business activity; or posted on the front door of the impacted tenant’s dwelling unit.”
 
The ordinance still applies to any “Impacted Tenant” defined as: “A person, or a member of their household, who is authorized by a lease to occupy property to the exclusion of others and loses wages or income during the local disaster”. Properties can ascertain if an impacted resident “has lost wages or income” in the manner they deem necessary including: verification from an employer, paystub verification, unemployment claim documentation or other verification method. 
 
A 60-Day Notice of Proposed Eviction template in .pdf format is available for AAA members on the AAA website under the COVID Resources page.   Properties can craft their own 60-day notice form so long as it contains this language in 16pt bold font: 
 
“A NOTICE OF PROPOSED EVICTION  AND OPPORTUNITY TO PAY TO AVOID EVICTION – THIS NOTICE DOES NOT EXCUSE YOUR OBLIGATION TO PAY AND YOU CAN BE EVICTED IF YOU FAIL TO PAY BY THE PAYMENT DEADLINE BELOW.”
 
The AAA will continue to advance the interests of the apartment industry. For more information about the ordinance contact Paul Cauduro, AAA Director of Government relations at paul@austinaptassoc.com or call 512-323-2286.