Questions on against whom and to which county to file


New Member
Hi, I am about to file a small claim to recover the costs due to the damages to my property, but have questions as to against whom and to which court are the most appropriate to file. The situation is that I reside in Fort Bend county, TX and own a condo in Harris county that is rented to my tenant (party A), party A has encountered persistent harassments, threats and property damages from another tenant (party B) in the same complex. Party B is also a lessee in the complex, her landlord (Party C) also resides in Fort Bend county. Fort bend and Harris are adjacent counties. We've exhausted our effort in terms of stopping the disruptive behaviors and also reached out to Party C to seek her intervention, but no results. In a nutshell, Party B is the one causing all the problems to not just my property but also other residents/properties in the neighborhood, and Party C, the owner, refuses to do anything about it. These are individually owned condos, so HOA has no authority in terms of evicting a tenant. So my questions are:

1. When I file a small claim, should I list both the tenant - party B and her landlord Party C as defendants or just Party C? Our ultimate goal is to get the damages compensated and have this tenant evicted from the neighborhood. We have partial info on each of them but not all - on the tenant, we know the address but not the name/number/email; and on the landlord, we know the name, address, and number, but not the email.
2. Harris county is the case is occurring, Fort bend is where both myself and the other landlord reside. Should I file to Fort Bend so the other landlord can be served, or to Harris where the case occurred?

Thank you so much for your help!
What damages?

You would sue the tenant in the county where the tenant resides. From what you've described, I don't see any cause to sue the landlord.

You don't control whether the tenant is evicted.
And you only get to sue for the cost of repairing the damage to YOUR property that was done by Tenant B.

Since Tenant B is your only defendant your choice of venue is where the defendant is located or where the matter arose (which is also where Tenant B is located).

Any damage to Tenant A's own property is up to Tenant A to litigate.
Thank you for the responses. The physical damages are broken windows and patio door, Tenant B also threw trash, dirt and feces to our patio and parking lot which incur cleaning costs. I know these don't sound big deals, but living with it on daily basis is unbearable. Several residents in the neighborhood collectively crafted a letter and presented to the landlord to request her to evict the tenant or at least address her tenant's behaviors, but she refused to do anything about it. So are you saying in this case, the only party I can sue is the Tenant B, not the landlord? We don't even know the Tenant B's name. Based on the lease contract and HOA rulings, both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for maintaining the orderliness of the neighborhood.

Based on the lease contract and HOA rulings, both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for maintaining the orderliness of the neighborhood.

You didn't say that earlier. That may give you a cause of action for a private nuisance lawsuit. But that's a bit iffy.

Do you have copies of the lease between C and B and the HOA rules that actually use the phrase "orderliness of the neighborhood." I ask because I read thousands of posts where somebody says "it states" when, upon reading the document, it "states" something entirely different.

We don't even know the Tenant B's name.

If you named C and named B as a "John Doe" you could require his identification in discovery if small claims court allows discovery.