Like many states, Texas has a set of landlord tenant laws that both parties involved must adhere to. As a landlord, it is imperative to be familiar with these laws when you rent out your unit.
If you are overwhelmed by learning the ins and outs of Texas state law regarding landlords and tenants, you’re not alone! That’s why we have provided our comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about Texas landlord tenant laws. Keep reading to find out more!
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities in Texas
Tenants have a list of rights and responsibilities that are stated by Texas landlord tenant law. The following are the rights of a tenant:
- The right to live in a habitable home
- The right to take at least one action if the landlord fails to uphold their responsibilities
There are also many responsibilities that come along with being a tenant that is put in place to protect Texas landlords and their property. They are as follows:
- Pay rent to the landlord on time as stated in the lease agreement
- Maintain the rental property in a clean and habitable way
- Use all fixtures for their intended purpose and keep them sanitary
- Make minor repairs when necessary
- Inform the landlord of any issues on the property as soon as they are noticed
- Refrain from disturbing other tenants and neighbors
Texas Landlord Rights and Responsibilities
Just like a tenant, a Texas landlord has a list of legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to their rental properties. If a landlord fails to adhere to the landlord tenant laws, there can be serious repercussions. In Texas, every landlord has the right to:
- Collect rent from their tenants on a regular basis, as stated in the lease or rental agreement
- Deduct funds from a security deposit to cover the cost of repairs for any damages to the property that are beyond normal wear and tear
But what are the responsibilities of a landlord? A Texas landlord must do the following things for their tenants:
- Maintain a habitable home
- Respond to maintenance requests within 7 days. (3 days if the issue involves lack of water, air conditioning, or heat.)
- Keep the tenant security deposit safe and stored properly.
An Overview of Texas Landlord Tenant Laws
Now that you’re familiar with you and your tenant’s rights and responsibilities when it comes to your rental home, lets look at an overview of these laws. They are as follows:
Tenant Privacy and the Landlord’s Right to Enter the Property
Like in many other states, Texas landlord tenant laws requires the landlord to notify their tenants prior to entering the rental home. Unlike many states, however, Texas law does not specify how much notice is required. Standard practice is 24 hours’ notice.
As a Texas landlord, it is a good idea to add a notice time that you and your tenant agree on in the lease agreement. If there is an emergency on the rental, then the landlord does not need to provide notice in order to enter the dwelling.
The Maintenance, Condition, and Repairs of the Rental Home
As a landlord, you now know that it is ultimately your responsibility to provide a habitable living environment for your tenants. But what exactly does that legally include?
Unlike most states, Texas law does not list specific amenities that landlords must provide for their tenants to maintain habitable living spaces. The exception to this, however, is smoke alarms and running water, which must be readily accessible to the tenants at all times.
Texas Landlord Tenant Housing Discrimination Laws
According to the Fair Housing Act, discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, or disability is strictly prohibited. Many states extend these legal protections to other groups that are not listed in the Fair Housing Act, however, Texas does not.
Landlord Tenant Security Deposit Laws in Texas
In Texas, there is no legal limit to how much a tenant pays for a security deposit. Landlords may use the security deposit for unpaid rent or the cost of repairs for damages to the property caused by the tenant.
Required Disclosures from Landlords
According to Texas law, there are certain disclosures that every landlord must make prior to their tenant signing the lease and charging any rent. These disclosures are generally presented in writing, and often included in the rental agreement.
These are the disclosures required of landlords in Texas:
- Lead-Based Paint: If the property was built prior to 1978, then the landlord must provide a disclosure including any possible concentrations of lead-based paint.
- Authorized Agents: Landlords must provide their tenant with the names and addresses of anyone who is involved in managing the rental home.
- The Right to Repair and Deduct: In Texas, landlords must provide their tenant with documents that clearly state their right to make repairs to the property and deduct the cost from their future rent payments.
- Parking conditions: Landlords must disclose any parking rules or restrictions if the rental is a multi-family complex.
- Late Fees: Any late fees that may be charged to the tenant must be included in the lease agreement.
- Emergency phone number: Landlords must provide tenants in Texas with a 24-hour emergency phone number to report urgent issues within the building.
Small Claims Lawsuits
At times, there are disputes between landlords and tenants, especially when it comes to a tenant that is not paying rent on time or if they withhold rent unfairly. This can lead to an eviction, which will end up requiring the judgment of the small claims courts. In Texas, the small claims court will hear rent-related cases up to $10,000.
Now you have a good overview of what you need to know about Texas landlord tenant law! If you have any more questions about these regulations or any other aspect of your rental, please don’t hesitate to contact our reputable team here at Keyrenter Mcallen.
As the premier property management company in Texas, our hard-working and knowledgeable professionals can help you and your rental succeed more than you ever dreamed was possible!
From marketing your rental to responding to maintenance requests, our team is prepared to handle any and every aspect of your rental for you. All there’s left for you to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your maximized income. Contact Keyrenter Mcallen today!
Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. Laws frequently change, and this post might not be updated at the time you read it. Get in touch with Keyrenter McAllen for any questions regarding this content or any other aspect of your property needs.