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Eviction filings trending upwards in Austin

Temporary protections for renters are ending, and things are starting to normalize again. That means eviction filings are back to pre-pandemic levels.

AUSTIN, Texas — Eviction notices are back to pre-pandemic levels across Austin. 

As temporary programs to help renters have disappeared and the cost of living continues to climb, some people find themselves struggling to pay rent.

The executive director of the Austin Apartment Association said in the last two years, over 28,000 rental units were added in Austin. 

"Before the pandemic was sort of a huge growth in the rental housing industry in Austin," Emily Blair said. "And what was trending that way increased supply and demand, huge demand. And that has continued. And that's a story that has continued throughout the pandemic and even now after."

With so much growth in the market, evictions are also trending up, especially as many temporary protections are ending. 

"We're coming, you know, coming out of the pandemic, and things are starting to normalize again," Blair said. "But 2023, certainly you've seen sort of a response ... kind of an impact of some of the actions and extremes of 2021 immediately following the pandemic."

While eviction filings have increased, the percentage of people getting evicted isn't too large. Blair said evictions are usually a last resort. Right now, she said Austin needs to focus on things to help prevent evictions from happening.

"Affordability, operations of your property because, you know, that's where we have seen unprecedented increases with costs, just to maintain and operate the property," Blair said.

Maintaining properties has become more expensive and, in turn, it's raising housing costs.

In efforts to help renters, even post-pandemic, City of Austin leaders have taken action.

One of the eviction protections extended past the pandemic includes the renters right to cure. This passed in October and requires landlords to give renters a period to fix or resolve a lease violation before facing penalties like eviction.

One other protection added just last year aims to close loopholes to make sure renters are given enough time in their notice to leave. It also allows them to access City resources and services.

If you're curious to know what an eviction process looks like in Texas, see the chart below: 

Credit: Texas Apartment Association

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