Question: My tenants are not paying rent. Should I sue them? What other options do I have?

John C. Koechel: The answer is different whether it’s a commercial situation or a residential situation and what type of lease you have. If you have just an oral lease with someone for, let’s say, an apartment, the answer is usually driven by provisions in the Texas property code, whereas if you have a written lease, either commercial or residential, those can apply as well as Texas law.

The advice I try to provide for people I consult with on these situations is that it’s almost always better to try to work something out with your tenant than to enter into litigations. It’s very expensive and time-consuming. That said, sometimes it’s unavoidable, but I think from a financial perspective it’s always better to try to resolve landlord-tenant disputes before you get to suing and the eviction process.