2009 Texas Code
PROPERTY CODE
TITLE 5. EXEMPT PROPERTY AND LIENS
CHAPTER 54. LANDLORD'S LIENS  

PROPERTY CODE

TITLE 5. EXEMPT PROPERTY AND LIENS

SUBTITLE B. LIENS

CHAPTER 54. LANDLORD'S LIENS

SUBCHAPTER A. AGRICULTURAL LANDLORD'S LIEN

Sec. 54.001. LIEN. A person who leases land or tenements at

will or for a term of years has a preference lien for rent that

becomes due and for the money and the value of property that the

landlord furnishes or causes to be furnished to the tenant to

grow a crop on the leased premises and to gather, store, and

prepare the crop for marketing.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3557, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.002. PROPERTY TO WHICH LIEN ATTACHES. (a) Except as

provided by Subsections (b) and (c), the lien attaches to:

(1) the property on the leased premises that the landlord

furnishes or causes to be furnished to the tenant to grow a crop

on the leased premises; and

(2) the crop grown on the leased premises in the year that the

rent accrues or the property is furnished.

(b) If the landlord provides everything except labor, the lien

attaches only to the crop grown in the year that the property is

furnished.

(c) The lien does not attach to the goods of a merchant, trader,

or mechanic if the tenant sells and delivers the goods in good

faith in the regular course of business.

(d) A law exempting property from forced sale does not apply to

a lien under this subchapter on agricultural products, animals,

or tools.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3557, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.003. EXCEPTIONS. The lien does not arise if:

(1) a tenant provides everything necessary to cultivate the

leased premises and the landlord charges rent of more than

one-third of the value of the grain and one-fourth of the value

of the cotton grown on the premises; or

(2) a landlord provides everything except the labor and directly

or indirectly charges rent of more than one-half of the value of

the grain and cotton grown on the premises.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3558, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.004. DURATION OF LIEN. The lien exists while the

property to which it is attached remains on the leased premises

and until one month after the day that the property is removed

from the premises. If agricultural products to which the lien is

attached are placed in a public or bonded warehouse regulated by

state law before the 31st day after the day that they are removed

from the leased premises, the lien exists while they remain in

the warehouse.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3558, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.005. REMOVAL OF PROPERTY. (a) If an advance or rent is

unpaid, a tenant may not without the landlord's consent remove or

permit the removal of agricultural products or other property to

which the lien is attached from the leased premises.

(b) If agricultural products subject to the lien are removed

with the landlord's consent from the leased premises for

preparation for market, the lien continues to exist as if the

products had not been removed.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3558, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.006. DISTRESS WARRANT. (a) The person to whom rent or

an advance is payable under the lease or the person's agent,

attorney, assign, or other legal representative may apply to an

appropriate justice of the peace for a distress warrant if the

tenant:

(1) owes any rent or an advance;

(2) is about to abandon the premises; or

(3) is about to remove the tenant's property from the premises.

(b) The application for a warrant must be filed with a justice

of the peace:

(1) in the precinct in which the leasehold is located or in

which the property subject to the landlord's lien is located; or

(2) who has jurisdiction of the cause of action.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3558, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 9, eff. Sept.

1, 1993.

Sec. 54.007. JUDGMENT ON REPLEVIN BOND. If a final judgment is

rendered against a defendant who has replevied property seized

under a distress warrant, the sureties on the defendant's replevy

bond are also liable under the judgment, according to the terms

of the bond.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3559, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

SUBCHAPTER B. BUILDING LANDLORD'S LIEN

Sec. 54.021. LIEN. A person who leases or rents all or part of

a building for nonresidential use has a preference lien on the

property of the tenant or subtenant in the building for rent that

is due and for rent that is to become due during the current

12-month period succeeding the date of the beginning of the

rental agreement or an anniversary of that date.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3559, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 200, Sec. 2, eff. Aug.

26, 1985.

Sec. 54.022. COMMERCIAL BUILDING. (a) The lien is

unenforceable for rent on a commercial building that is more than

six months past due unless the landlord files a lien statement

with the county clerk of the county in which the building is

located.

(b) The lien statement must be verified by the landlord or the

landlord's agent or attorney and must contain:

(1) an account, itemized by month, of the rent for which the

lien is claimed;

(2) the name and address of the tenant or subtenant, if any;

(3) a description of the leased premises; and

(4) the beginning and termination dates of the lease.

(c) Each county clerk shall index alphabetically and record the

rental lien statements filed in the clerk's office.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3559, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.023. EXEMPTIONS. This subchapter does not affect a

statute exempting property from forced sale.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3560, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.024. DURATION OF LIEN. The lien exists while the tenant

occupies the building and until one month after the day that the

tenant abandons the building.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3560, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.025. DISTRESS WARRANT. The person to whom rent is

payable under a building lease or the person's agent, attorney,

assign, or other legal representative may apply to the justice of

the peace in the precinct in which the building is located for a

distress warrant if the tenant:

(1) owes rent;

(2) is about to abandon the building; or

(3) is about to remove the tenant's property from the building.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3560, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 10, eff.

Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER C. RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD'S LIEN

Sec. 54.041. LIEN. A landlord of a single or multifamily

residence has a lien for unpaid rent that is due. The lien

attaches to nonexempt property that is in the residence or that

the tenant has stored in a storage room.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3560, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.042. EXEMPTIONS. A lien under this subchapter does not

attach to:

(1) wearing apparel;

(2) tools, apparatus, and books of a trade or profession;

(3) schoolbooks;

(4) a family library;

(5) family portraits and pictures;

(6) one couch, two living room chairs, and a dining table and

chairs;

(7) beds and bedding;

(8) kitchen furniture and utensils;

(9) food and foodstuffs;

(10) medicine and medical supplies;

(11) one automobile and one truck;

(12) agricultural implements;

(13) children's toys not commonly used by adults;

(14) goods that the landlord or the landlord's agent knows are

owned by a person other than the tenant or an occupant of the

residence; and

(15) goods that the landlord or the landlord's agent knows are

subject to a recorded chattel mortgage or financing agreement.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3560, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 305, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.

26, 1985.

Sec. 54.043. ENFORCEABILITY OF CONTRACTUAL PROVISIONS. (a) A

contractual landlord's lien is not enforceable unless it is

underlined or printed in conspicuous bold print in the lease

agreement.

(b) A provision of a lease that purports to waive or diminish a

right, liability, or exemption of this subchapter is void to the

extent limited by this subchapter.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3561, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984.

Sec. 54.044. SEIZURE OF PROPERTY. (a) The landlord or the

landlord's agent may not seize exempt property and may seize

nonexempt property only if it is authorized by a written lease

and can be accomplished without a breach of the peace.

(b) Immediately after seizing property under Subsection (a) of

this section, the landlord or the landlord's agent shall leave

written notice of entry and an itemized list of the items

removed. The notice and list shall be left in a conspicuous place

within the dwelling. The notice must state the amount of

delinquent rent and the name, address, and telephone number of

the person the tenant may contact regarding the amount owed. The

notice must also state that the property will be promptly

returned on full payment of the delinquent rent.

(c) Unless authorized in a written lease, the landlord is not

entitled to collect a charge for packing, removing, or storing

property seized under this section.

(d) If the tenant has abandoned the premises, the landlord or

the landlord's agent may remove its contents.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3561, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 305, Sec. 1, eff. Aug.

26, 1985.

Sec. 54.045. SALE OF PROPERTY. (a) Property seized under

Section 54.044 may not be sold or otherwise disposed of unless

the sale or disposition is authorized in a written lease.

(b) Before selling seized property, the landlord or the

landlord's agent must give notice to the tenant not later than

the 30th day before the date of the sale. The notice must be sent

to the tenant by both first class mail and certified mail, return

receipt requested, at the tenant's last known address. The notice

must contain:

(1) the date, time, and place of the sale;

(2) an itemized account of the amount owed by the tenant to the

landlord; and

(3) the name, address, and telephone number of the person the

tenant may contact regarding the sale, the amount owed, and the

right of the tenant to redeem the property under Subsection (e)

of this section.

(c) A sale under this section is subject to a recorded chattel

mortgage or financing statement. The property shall be sold to

the highest cash bidder. Proceeds from the sale shall be applied

first to delinquent rents and, if authorized by the written

lease, reasonable packing, moving, storage, and sale costs.

(d) Any sale proceeds remaining after payment of the amounts

authorized in Subsection (c) of this section shall be mailed to

the tenant at the tenant's last known address not later than the

30th day after the date of the sale. The landlord shall provide

the tenant with an accounting of all proceeds of the sale not

later than the 30th day after the date on which the tenant makes

a written request for the accounting.

(e) The tenant may redeem the property at any time before the

property is sold by paying to the landlord or the landlord's

agent all delinquent rents and, if authorized in the written

lease, all reasonable packing, moving, storage, and sale costs.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 305, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26,

1985.

Sec. 54.046. VIOLATION BY LANDLORD. If a landlord or the

landlord's agent wilfully violates this subchapter, the tenant is

entitled to:

(1) actual damages, return of any property seized that has not

been sold, return of the proceeds of any sale of seized property,

and one month's rent or $500, whichever is greater, less any

amount for which the tenant is liable; and

(2) reasonable attorney's fees.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 356, ch. 5761, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1,

1984. Renumbered and amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 305,

Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1985.

Sec. 54.047. OTHER RIGHTS NOT AFFECTED. This subchapter does

not affect or diminish any other rights or obligations arising

under common law or any statute.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 305, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26,

1985.

Sec. 54.048. TENANT MAY REPLEVY. At any time before judgment in

a suit for unpaid rent, the tenant may replevy any of the

property that has been seized, if the property has not been

claimed or sold, by posting a bond in an amount approved by the

court, payable to the landlord, and conditioned that if the

landlord prevails in the suit, the amount of the judgment

rendered and any costs assessed against the tenant shall be first

satisfied, to the extent possible, out of the bond.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 266, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

1987.

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