This Texas Law Lets Your Landlord Take Your TV If You Don’t Pay Rent

The process is authorized by state law as a way to recoup unpaid rent, but it’s not as simple as your landlord walking into your apartment and taking whatever he or she wants.

Audio, News Story (Texas)

Syeda Hasan
KUT (Austin)
February 28, 2018

Tags: Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)


Fuchs says a landlord can take a tenant’s property only because of unpaid rent – not past due utilities, maintenance or other costs. There are also restrictions on what exactly landlords can take. They can’t take a tenant’s clothing, food, medicine or family portraits, for example. But they can take TVs, musical instruments and furniture, with some exceptions.

Fuchs, who has worked on a number of these cases over the years, says tenants usually aren’t aware that a landlord has this right until they have to deal with it firsthand. Still, Fuchs says, liens are typically not the first option landlords go for to secure payment.