Texas Landlord-Tenant Law
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The Landlord-Tenant Environment in Texas
It is estimated that 28 million residents live in Texas. Texas landlord-tenant law is generally landlord friendly. While Texas is home to several big cities, most notably Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, none of these cities have their own landlord-tenant ordinances. Dallas City Code addresses landlord-tenant issues, which we address at the end of this guide.
There are roughly 800,000 rental units in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio combined.do lat
Below, we’ll explore landlord-tenant law in Texas.
Texas Landlord-Tenant Law
Security Deposit Law in Texas
Is a security deposit required under Texas law?
According to Texas law, landlords are not required to collect security deposits from tenants. That being said, a majority of landlords do in fact collect a security deposit from prospective tenants. We surveyed our landlords in Texas and the majority reported that the amount of their security deposit is typically equal to the monthly rent price.
Is a security deposit receipt required in Texas?
Security deposit receipts are not required, but we recommend issuing a receipt to record the transaction anyway, especially in the case of a cash transaction.
When must a landlord return the deposit by in Texas?
In Texas, if the landlord has no reason to withhold the security deposit, it must be returned within 30 days of the tenant vacating the premises. The landlord may not retain any portion of a security deposit to cover normal wear and tear.
If the security deposit is not returned in full, the landlord is required to provide a written itemized list of any damages and the approximate cost of repair to the tenant, along with the balance of the tenant’s security deposit. This list must be given to the tenant within 30 days of the tenant moving out, which must include paid receipts stating the cost of repairs. Subsequently, the landlord is required to fix any such repairs within 30 days.
In Texas, tenants may be allowed to provide a Notice of Surrender, which allows the tenant to ask for the security deposit money sooner than the 30-day requirement. This is only allowed if the residential lease agreement specifically allows it. It must be underlined or obviously printed in the lease.
In Texas, tenants can sue the landlord for damages if the landlord violates the security deposit law. Specifically, if the landlord is either proven to be withholding a security deposit without cause or has failed to provide a written notice for damage claims against the amount, the tenant has the right to up to three times the security deposit amount.
Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in Texas?
Landlords are not required to pay tenants interest on security deposits. There is also no limit on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit. The amount charged should not vary based on a tenant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.
The landlord may place the security deposit in an interest-bearing or income-producing account. Any interest or income earned will be paid to the landlord or landlord’s representative.
Which situations allow a landlord to withhold a security deposit in Texas?
Generally, security deposits are designed to secure rent payments and compensate the landlord for actual property damage or nonpayment of rent.
Landlords in Texas are allowed to withhold a security deposit for the following two reasons:
1) If the tenant owes unpaid rent and there is no controversy concerning the amount of rent owed
2) If the tenant damaged the property beyond normal wear and tear, then the landlord is allowed to deduct the cost of repairing the damage.
Based on our survey of landlords in Texas, the most common justification for landlords withholding money is due to property damage.
Can security deposits be commingled with other assets?
Landlords are legally free to store the security deposit with other assets, also known as commingling the security deposit. It’s rare for Texas landlords to keep security deposits in a separate bank account since it is not required. This is evidenced by the results of our survey, where the vast majority of our landlords reported they don’t separate security deposits from other assets.
Rental Agreement Laws in Texas
Are rental agreements required in Texas?
Rental agreements are required for tenancies that are 12 months or longer in Texas. Even if the lease agreement is less than 12 months, we recommend having a signed rental agreement, for added legal security. This is supported by the results of our survey of Texas landlords, which indicates that the majority of landlords require their tenants to sign a rental agreement.
Finally, in the state of Texas, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a copy of the rental agreement three days after the agreement has been finalized.
Get started now by creating an online rental agreement with Rentalutions. Our attorney-approved rental agreement includes all the necessary notices and disclosures based on your property’s address. It’s never been easier to create, modify, and sign a rental agreement. And check out our tips to make your rental lease even better.
Tenant Selection Critera
Pursuant to Texas Property Code §92.3515 and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C.A., Section 1681, Chapter 41, the following criteria may be used by the landlord in deciding whether to lease property to an applicant:
- Criminal History: The landlord will perform a criminal history check on each applicant residing in a property who is 18 years of age and older. The landlord’s decision to lease the property may be influenced by any history of criminal activity.
- Previous Rental History: The landlord will verify a previous rental history using the information provided on the lease application. Failure to provide this requested information, provision of inaccurate information, or information learned upon contacting previous landlord may influence the landlord’s decision to lease the property.
- Current Income: The landlord may ask for verification of income. Depending upon the rental amount being asked for the property, sufficiency of income along with the ability to verify the stated income, may influence the landlord’s decision to lease the property.
- Credit History: The landlord will obtain a Credit Reporting Agency report (commonly referred to as a credit report), in order to verify credit history. The landlord’s decision to lease the property may be based upon the information obtained from this report.
- Failure to Provide Accurate Information in Application: Failure to provide accurate information on the application that is unverifiable will be considered by the landlord when deciding whether to lease the property.
- Negatives: The following items may provide sufficient grounds to decline an applicant(s) and household members:
- Any open bankruptcy which has not been discharged
- A negative or incomplete rental reference
- Any collection filed by a property management company
- Any eviction or unlawful detainer action
- Any conviction of, or reasonable cause to believe, that any illegal drug is currently being used and/or has in the past been used, possessed or sold by any household member
- Any household member that is a registered or unregistered sex offender
- Two or more charges for domestic violence or charges that are domestic violence related, and/or two or more petitions filed against applicant for orders of protection
- Reasonable likelihood to believe that a household member’s abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol interferes with the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the resident community
- Reasonable likelihood to believe that a household member’s illegal use or pattern of illegal use of a drug may interfere with health, safety, or right of peaceful enjoyment of residential community
- Reasonable likelihood that the applicant will be unwilling or unable to pay rent
- Reasonable likelihood that the applicant or those acting under his or her control will interfere with the health, safety, security or the right of peaceful enjoyment of the residential community
- Reasonable likelihood that the applicant or those acting under his or her control will cause intentional damage or destruction to the property or surrounding premises
- All applicants must have a legal and verifiable social security number
- Other: The landlord is entitled to include any other such criteria pertinent to the property which must be disclosed.
General Lease Provisions
Pursuant to Texas law, the names of all involved parties, including both the landlord and tenants’ names are required to be on the lease, as well as a description of the property with the address. The terms of the agreement should be clearly stated and tenants living in a residential unit in the state must be at least 18 years of age to occupy the unit.
Rental Agreement Notice Requirements
On a written month-to-month lease, the landlord is required to provide 30 days’ notice to tenants when there are changes to the lease, including an increase in rent.
Likewise, on a year-to-year lease, the landlord is required to provide at least a month’s notice to the tenant of their desire to terminate the tenancy. Read here for more information on the pros and cons of month-to-month rental leases.
On the other hand, without a written rental agreement, the landlord must provide notice equal to the rent interval period. For example, if your arrangement specifies rent will be paid montly, the tenant should have at least a month’s notice before your rent is raised. Or, if rent is expected to be paid weekly, then a week’s notice is required.
Rental Payment Laws in Texas
Rent payment regulations are relatively sparse and essentially non-existent in Texas. Landlords are required to provide tenants with a rent receipt for cash payments only.
We suggest that landlords provide tenants with rent receipts for every type of payment, so your records are accurate and thorough.
Late Fees Laws in Texas
In Texas, landlords are not legally required to charge a late rent fee. However, most landlords do in fact charge late fees, either based on a fixed dollar amount, fixed percentage, or some combination of the two.
According to §92.109 of the Texas Property Code, the late fee to be charged by the landlord is a “reasonable estimate of uncertain damages to the landlord that is incapable of precise calculation and result from late payment of rent. The late fee must be based on some damage to the landlord.”
Late fees must be written in the rental agreement if they are expected to be legally upheld and followed. If a landlord doesn’t wish to charge a late fee, then it may be omitted from the rental agreement. But we recommend having a late fee to motivate tenants to pay rent on time. Read here to learn how to handle tenants with late rental payments.
Texas Grace Period Law
The legal grace period in Texas is one day. Rent is officially late if it is paid anytime after the expected due date. After this day has passed, the landlord can legally charge the late fee.
Landlords typically provide their tenants with a payment grace period in the lease agreement, which can be one day or more. By including a grace period in the lease, tenants are aware of the exact day that a late fee will be assessed.
If the tenant fails to pay rent once the additional day passes, the landlord can declare the tenant in default under the lease agreement, or accept the rent and the appropriate late fee. If rent is still unpaid, the landlord must wait three days before giving the tenant a pay or quit notice.
Texas Laws on Repairs: Tenant’s Right, Landlord’s Duty
Under Texas Property Code, tenants have the right to have any condition that threatens their health or safety repaired by the landlord. Subchapter B of Ch. 92 of the Texas Property Code, (specifically §92.051 – §92.061) details the process a tenant must follow to enforce their repair rights and also provides specific remedies for a tenant if the landlord fails to correct or make repairs. In order for the tenant to obtain repair remedies, the tenant must give the landlord seven days’ notice. This means the landlord has seven days to make the repair once the tenant provides notice of the issue.
In order to be legally binding, the rental agreement must contain language in underlined or bold print that informs the tenant of the remedies available when the landlord fails to repair a problem that materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant.
Legal remedies depend on the type of repair: those that threaten the health or safety of an ordinary tenant and those that do not. Examples of conditions that are a threat to health or safety are:
- Plumbing stoppages
- Failure to provide air conditioning
- Texas law does not require landlords to provide air conditioning, but providing this service is a reasonable remedy to fix a temperature situation that is endangering a tenant’s health and safety.
- Lack of hot water
- Electrical shorts
- Leaking roofs or ceilings
- Rodent or bedbug infestations
If the landlord fails to take necessary action, then tenants can legally:
- Terminate the lease and move
- File suit to obtain damages and an order requiring the landlord to fix the problem
- Have the problem repaired and deduct the cost from the rent
- Notify the city code inspector about the problem
- Fix the problem yourself
- Live with it until your lease expires
There is one important exception to the landlord’s duty to repair. Pursuant to the Property Code, the landlord does not have a duty to repair a condition caused by the tenant, household members, or the tenant’s guests. If you wish to notify your landlord of a necessary repair on the premises, check out this Texas demand form.
Texas Laws on Eviction
An eviction is a lawsuit filed by a landlord to remove the tenant from the landlord’s premises. Under Texas law, these are also referred to as “forcible entry and detainer” or “forcible detainer” suits. The landlord can begin this process by providing a three-day notice to vacate. Typically, the landlord brings suit because of the tenant’s failure to pay rent or because the tenant has stayed in the unit after the lease expires.
Please keep in mind that a landlord can refuse to renew a lease for any reason, as long as the landlord is not discriminating in violation of the Fair Housing laws, or retaliating in violation of the Texas Property Code.
To see more on eviction laws in Texas, read here.
Texas Laws on Retaliation
Retaliation occurs when the landlord wrongfully terminates the lease, files for eviction, deprives the tenant of the use of the premises, decreases certain services to a tenant, or increases the rent because a tenant tries to exercise his statutorily protected rights.
In the state of Texas, there are specific rules and regulations regarding landlord retaliation. Most notably, if the landlord takes any adverse action against a tenant within six months of the tenant’s action, the landlord is presumed to have retaliated. There are some instances where the landlord’s conduct is not considered to be retaliation under the law. This includes, but is not limited to, the tenant fails to pay rent, the tenant intentionally causes property damage to the premises, or the tenant threatens the personal safety of the landlord or employees.
If the landlord engages in activity that constitutes unlawful retaliation, the tenant may seek a judgment against the landlord for:
- One month’s rent, plus $500
- Reasonable costs to move to another place (if you were forced out)
- Attorney’s fees and court costs.
It is important to remember that the landlord will win if he or she can prove that his or her actions were not retaliatory.
For tenants, you can follow these instructions for writing a demand letter when a landlord is unlawfully retaliating.
Texas Laws on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
In most states, including Texas, the law affords special protections to victims of domestic violence. In Texas, a landlord should not evict, threaten to evict or fail to renew a lease because the tenant has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or abuse.
The landlord must also inform the tenant, in writing, that they may break a lease early in special circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. That being said, landlords can require tenants to provide proof of domestic violence status before releasing tenants from a lease, but cannot require that the tenant waive some or all of their domestic violence rights.
Finally, the rental agreement cannot prohibit the tenant from calling the police in a domestic violence situation or otherwise penalize a domestic violence victim.
Texas Laws on Changing the Locks and Security Devices
In Texas, landlords are only required to change the locks before a new tenant moves in if the keys are lost or stolen. The landlord must rekey at the tenant’s expense if requested by the tenant. The tenant can make an unlimited amount of requests. The Texas Property Code allows requests to be made orally unless a written lease states otherwise in underlined or bolded print.
Both residential and commercial landlords in Texas are required to provide certain security devices on the leased premises, including a deadbolt lock, pin lock, security bar lock and window latch. Moreover, a landlord must rekey any security device operated by a key, card, or combination on an exterior door or window at the landlord’s expense no later than the seventh day after each tenant vacates the premises. If the landlord wants tenant requests concerning security devices to be in writing, then this request must be in the rental agreement in boldface type or underlined. Chapter 92, Subchapter D of the Texas Property Code details the laws on security devices further.
If a landlord fails to install a security device that is required without a tenant request or if the landlord fails to rekey within seven days after a tenant turnover, a tenant can do one or more of the following:
- Install or rekey the lock themselves and deduct the reasonable cost of repair from the next rent payment
- Send a written request to the landlord and if the landlord does not comply (either on or before the third day after it is received), the tenant may unilaterally terminate the lease
- File suit against the landlord and obtain a judgment directing the landlord to comply
- Send a written request to the landlord and, if no response, file suit and obtain judgment
Pet Laws for Texas Rentals
Texas does not have any specific pet laws. Landlords are allowed to create their own requirements for pets, most notably, they can decide if pets are allowed, what size is allowed, etc.
Under Texas law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities may bring their service animals to all public accommodations, such as government buildings, hotels, restaurants, stadiums, and stores. These laws also require those who operate transportation services to allow service animals. Both laws protect people in Texas who use service animals, and you are entitled to rely on whichever law gives you the most protection.
If a tenant has a service animal, he or she can give the landlord a ‘no pets’ waiver request. Landlords have the right to deny this request if allowing the pet causes the landlord financial or administrative burden. But it is very rare for a landlord to deny a service animal.
Finally, landlords are allowed to charge a pet deposit and additional pet rent if they choose.
Do Texas Landlords Need a Rental License?
Texas landlords are not required to have a rental license.
What is a rental license?
A rental license is provided by your local government, that legally enables the landlord to rent its property and assures that the rental property complies with minimum housing standards in the state.
Landlord rental licenses are not required by Texas law. However, we do advise that you check your local jurisdiction for rental license laws and be aware that they typically need to be renewed yearly by paying a fee.
What is the process for getting a rental license?
You apply for a license through your township’s website, your township schedules an inspection and then assuming you meet all of their codes, you receive a signed and dated license.
Notice of Entry Law in Texas
Landlords in Texas are required to provide written notice of entry onto the tenant’s premises. However, no notice period is specified under Texas law. As you can see below, our survey of Texas landlords shows a variety of different notice times, ranging from no notice to 48 hours notice.
We recommend that landlords provide at least 24 hours notice before entering a unit, and based on other states’ models, reasonable times are defined as Monday-Friday between 8am and 6pm.
The following are reasons for which a landlord may enter the premises:
- Responding to tenant’s request
- Making repairs or replacements
- Estimating repair or refurbishing costs
- Performing pest control or doing preventive maintenance
- Changing filters, testing or replacing smoke detector batteries
- Retrieving unreturned tools, equipment, or appliances
- Preventing waste of utilities
- Exercising a contractual lien
- Leaving notices
- Delivering, installing, reconnecting, or replacing appliances, furniture, equipment, or security devices
- Removing or rekeying unauthorized security devices
- Removing unauthorized window coverings
- Stopping excessive noise
- Removing health or safety hazards (including hazardous materials), or items prohibited under lease rules
- Removing perishable foodstuffs if your electricity is disconnected
- Removing unauthorized animals
- Cutting off electricity according to statute
- Retrieving property owned or leased by former residents
- Inspecting when immediate danger to person or property is reasonably suspected
- Allowing persons to enter as you authorized in your rental application (if you die, are incarcerated, etc.)
- Allowing entry by a law officer with a search or arrest warrant, or in hot pursuit
- Showing apartment to prospective residents (after move-out or vacate notice has been given)
- Showing apartment to government
In the case of an emergency, the notice of entry law is waived. Emergencies are situations where people or the property are threatened. The landlord does not have to provide any proof of the emergency at the time, but if the tenant should believe that the landlord entered unlawfully, the landlord will need proof of the emergency. Proof could be a gas report or notice from the utility company.
Sublease and Assignment Provisions
Subleasing occurs when the original tenant rents the premises (apartment or house) to another individual. In most states, subleasing is not permitted under the terms of the lease, unless the landlord consents. A typical sublease provision in Texas reads as follows:
“Lessee shall not sublet the Premises or any part thereof, nor assign this lease, without obtaining Lessor’s prior written permission to sublet or assign. Lessor shall not unreasonably withhold permission and will accept a reasonable sublease as provided by ordinance.”
Pursuant to the §91.005 of the Texas Property Code, if the tenant sublets the premises without the consent of the landlord, the landlord may evict the subtenant (the individual who has entered into the arrangement with the original tenant) and sue both the subtenant and the original tenant for any damages caused by the subletting arrangement.
However, if the lease does allow the original tenant to sublet the premises, the original tenant becomes the new landlord to the subletter (absent an express agreement between the original landlord and tenant). This inevitably transfers potential liability from the landlord to the original tenant.
Abandoned Property in Texas
Texas case law defines abandonment as “the relinquishment of possession with the intent of terminating ownership but without vesting it in anyone.” The relinquishment must be voluntary, absolute, and intentional. Furthermore, mere non-use of the property alone may be insufficient to establish abandonment. In Texas, personal property is generally presumed abandoned if the existence and location of its owner are unknown to the holder for more than three years and a claim to the property has not been asserted or an act of ownership has not been exercised within that period. In Texas, there is no requisite lease provision regarding the abandonment of property.
Required Texas Rental Agreement Disclosures
There are three required lease disclosures in Texas:
Lead Paint Disclosure: Federal law requires landlords to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the lease takes effect. Additionally, under state law, landlords must provide this EPA-approved information pamphlet and fill out the following form.
Owner or Agent Identity: The landlord is responsible for disclosing, either in the lease or some other writing, the name and address(s) of the property owner. If there is another entity that is primarily responsible for maintenance or upkeep of the property, their contact information (name and street address) should also be included in the lease or in a separate writing.
Utility Disclosure: A landlord who has agreed in the lease to provide and pay for water, gas, or electric service is liable to the tenant if the utility company has cut off utility service to the tenant or has given written notice to the tenant that such utility service is about to be cut off because of the landlord has failed to pay the utility bill.
Please note that the following two disclosures are only required in specific circumstances:
Landlord’s towing or parking rules and policies: For tenants in multi-unit dwellings, if the landlord has vehicle towing or parking rules or policies that apply to the tenant, the landlord is required to provide the tenant a copy of the rules or policies before the rental agreement is signed. The copy must be signed by the tenant, included in the lease or rental agreement. The clause must be underlined, capitalized or in bold print.
Electric service interruption: If the landlord provides electric service, or master-metered electricity according to a prorated system, the landlord may interrupt tenant’s electricity service if the tenant fails to pay the bill. However, the landlord can only stop service after notice has been given and according to a specific procedure. There are exceptions for ill tenants and during extreme weather.
Oft-Cited Texas Landlord and Tenant Laws
Below, you will find references to areas of the Texas Property Code that govern rental properties and issues related to landlord-tenant law.
Texas Property Code Ch. 91: highlights provisions generally applicable to landlord and tenants
- §91.001. Notice for terminating tenancies
- Requisite notice provisions required for terminating tenancies (month-to-month, year-to-year, etc.)
- §91.004. Landlord’s breach of lease or lien
- Tenant’s rights if the landlord breaches the rental agreement and the implementation of a lien on the landlord’s property in order to secure damages for the tenant
- §91. 005 Subletting prohibited
- Landlord’s prohibition on subletting the premises without their prior consent
- §91.006. Landlord’s duty to mitigate damages
- Landlord’s duty to mitigate damages if the tenant abandons the leased premises in violation of the lease
Texas Property Code Ch. 92: outlines laws relating to residential tenancies in Texas
- Subchapter A: General Provisions
- §92.001. Definitions
- Definitions applicable to residential tenancies under Texas law.
- §92.003. Landlord’s agent for service of process
- Appropriate and authorized agents of the landlord who may be served notice if tenant brings a lawsuit.
- §92.004. Harassment
- Penalties to be enforced against either party (landlord or tenant) if either party engages in harassing behavior.
- §92.003. Waiver or expansion of duties and remedies
- Landlord’s duty and/or tenant’s remedy concerning security deposits, security devices, landlord’s disclosure of ownership and management, or utility cutoffs and whether those may be waived or expanded.
- §92.008. Interruption of utilities
- Landlord is prohibited from interrupting a utility service paid by the utility company unless the interruption is the result of an emergency, repair, or construction. It also discusses tenant’s remedies if landlord violates this provision.
- §92.0081. Removal of Property and Exclusion of Residential Tenant
- Landlord has a right to remove certain property on the premises in certain situations and consequently, the landlord is also prohibited from removing said property. Explanation of circumstances where the landlord may exclude the tenant from the premises.
- §92.009 Residential Tenant’s Right of Re-entry After Unlawful Lockout
- Residential tenant’s options when they have been unlawfully restricted access to the premises.
- §92.103. Notice of Rule or Policy Change Affecting Tenant’s Personal Property
- Required notice that landlords must give when they are changing a rule or policy (outside of the lease) that will affect tenants’ personal property.
- §92.016. Right to Vacate and Avoid Liability Following Family Violence
- This subsection highlights the tenant’s legal right to vacate the premises and avoid liability whereby when there has been either an incident or ongoing pattern of incidents with regards to family violence.
- §92.001. Definitions
- Subchapter B: Repair or Closing of Leasehold
- §92.052. Landlord’s Duty to Repair or Remedy
- Landlord has an ongoing duty to repair and/or remedy specified conditions relating to the maintenance of the leased premises.
- §92.056. Landlord Liability and Tenant Remedies; Notice and Time for Repair
- Tenants have certain available remedies when the landlord is in breach of the lease agreement and or the notice guidelines. Landlords have seven days after the tenant’s notice to repair the problem.
- §92.0561. Tenant’s Repair and Deduct Remedies
- There is a maximum amount the tenant can “repair and deduct” from rent, in the case, and capped amount, if and when the tenant repairs a condition affecting the habitability of the premises and subsequently deducts the cost of repair from rent.
- §92.0563. Tenant’s Judicial Remedies
- Tenant has certain judicial remedies if the landlord fails to repair or remedy the condition.
- §92.058 Landlord Remedy for Tenant Violation
- Landlord has certain available remedies when the tenant is in breach of or violated the terms of the lease.
- §92.052. Landlord’s Duty to Repair or Remedy
- Subchapter C: Security Deposits
- §92.102. Security Deposits
- Security deposit definition.
- §92.103. Obligation to Refund
- Landlord is required to refund the tenant’s security deposit at the expiration of the lease term.
- §92.104. Retention of Security Deposit
- In certain situations, the landlord may deduct from the deposit damages and charges for which the tenant is legally liable under the lease or as a result of breaching the lease. The landlord may not retain any part of the security deposit to cover normal wear and tear.
- §92.105. Cessation of Owner’s Interest
- If the owner’s interest in the premises is terminated by sale, transfer, assignment, death, bankruptcy, or otherwise, the owner is liable for the return of the security deposits to the tenants.
- §92.108. Liability for Withholding Last Month’s Rent
- Tenant may not withhold rent payment of any portion of last month’s rent on grounds that the security deposit is security designed to cover for said unpaid rent.
- §92.109. Liability of Landlord
- Landlord is liable to the tenant if they decide to retain the security deposit.
- §92.102. Security Deposits
- Subchapter D: Security Devices
- §92.151. Definitions
- Definitions of the relevant security devices under Texas law.
- §92.153. Security Devices Required Without Necessity of Tenant’s Request
- Landlord is required to provide certain security devices to the tenant on the leased premises.
- §92.156. Rekeying or Change of Security Devices
- In certain situations, the landlord is required to rekey the premises or change certain security devices.
- §92.158. Landlord’s Duty to Repair or Replace Security
- Landlord is responsible for replacing and repairing certain locks or security.
- §92.159. When Tenant’s Request or Notice Must Be In Writing
- Tenant’s request to repair or request for a new security device must be in writing.
- §92.161. Compliance With Tenant Request Required Within Reasonable Time
- Landlord must comply with the tenant’s request for rekeying, changing, installing, repairing or replacing a security device (which is typically no later than 7 days after the landlord receives the request).
- §92.162. Payment of Charges; Limits on Amount Charged
- Landlord may require the tenant to pay for the repair or replacement of a security device, and the landlord is prohibited from requiring the tenant to pay for the repair or replacement of a security device.
- §92.164. Tenant Remedies For Landlord’s Failure To Install Or Rekey Certain Security Devices
- Tenant has certain remedies when the landlord fails to install or rekey certain security devices on the leased premises.
- §92.1641. Landlord’s Defenses Relating to Rekeying or Reinstalling Certain Security Devices
- Landlord has certain defenses in circumstances where they fail to rekey or reinstall certain security devices.
- §92.151. Definitions
- Subchapter E: Disclosure of Ownership And Management
- §92.021. Disclosure of Ownership and Management
- Landlord is required to disclose certain information to the tenant regarding ownership and management of the leased premises.
- §92.202. Landlord’s Failure to Disclose Information
- Tenant has certain remedies if the landlord fails to disclose certain information regarding ownership and management of the leased premises.
- §92.021. Disclosure of Ownership and Management
- Subchapter H: Retaliation
- §92.331. Retaliation By Landlord
- Landlord may not retaliate against the tenant.
- §92.332. Non Retaliation
- Under certain circumstances, the landlord is not liable for retaliating against the tenant.
- §92.202. Tenant Remedies
- Tenant has certain remedies when landlord retaliates.
- §92.331. Retaliation By Landlord
Texas Property Code Ch. 93: Commercial Tenancies
- §93.002. Interruption of Utilities, Removal of Property, and Exclusion of Commercial Tenant
- Landlord may not interrupt or cause the interruption of utility service, remove certain of the tenant’s personal property or unlawfully exclude the tenant from the leased premises, except in certain instances.
- §93.003. Commercial Tenant’s Right of Reentry After Unlawful Lockout
- Tenant has a right to re-enter after the tenant has been unlawfully excluded and/or locked out of the leased premises.
- §93.005. Obligation to Refund Security Deposit
- Commercial landlord has an obligation to refund the tenant’s security deposit.
- §93.006. Retention of Security Deposit; Accounting
- Before returning a security deposit, a commercial landlord may deduct from the deposit damages and charges for which the tenant is legally liable under the lease or as a result of breaching the lease. Further, under this section, the landlord may not retain any part of the security deposit to cover normal wear and tear.
- §93.010. Liability for Withholding Last Month’s Rent
- Commercial tenant may not withhold rent payment of any portion of last month’s rent on grounds that the security deposit is security for said unpaid rent.
Texas Property Code Ch. 94: Manufactured Homes
Chapter 94 of the Texas Property Code highlights state specific rules and regulations with regards to manufactured homes. Click on the link for more information.
Texas Property Code Ch. 24: Forcible Entry and Detainer (Discusses Evictions)
- §24.001. Forcible Entry and Detainer. Definition for forcible entry and detainer.
- §24.002. Forcible Detainer. States when an individual is guilty of forcible detainer.
- §24.005. Notice to Vacate Prior to Filing Eviction Suit. Discusses the landlord’s required notice to the tenant if the tenant who defaults or holds over beyond the rental term, before the landlord can file a suit to evict the tenant from the leased premises.
Texas Property Code Ch. 54: Exempt Property and Liens
- Subchapter A: Agricultural Landlord’s Liens
- §54.001. Liens
- Definition of an agricultural lien.
- §54.002. Property to Which Lien Attaches
- Situations where property to which a lien is permitted to attach.
- §54.003. Exceptions
- Exceptions where a lien does not attach.
- §54.004. Duration of Lien
- Duration of agricultural lien.
- §54.001. Liens
- Subchapter B: Building Landlord’s Liens
- Rules and regulations regarding building landlord’s liens.
- Subchapter C: Residential Landlord’s Liens
- Rules and regulations relating to residential landlord’s liens.
Resources on Texas Landlord-Tenant Law
National Multifamily Housing Council – state-by-state demographics on housing and renters
Dallas Landlord-Tenant Regulations
For the most part, landlord-tenant laws in Dallas are the same as state law. 36% of all housing units in the city of Dallas are renter-occupied. However, there are some rules and regulations that are worth highlighting in the landlord-tenant context:
Retaliation against tenants is explicitly prohibited by the Dallas City Code, Sec. 27-5.2. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to rent increase, diminished services or eviction in response to a complaint.
Houston Landlord-Tenant Regulations
Rules and regulations pertaining to landlord-tenant law in the city of Houston are the same as Texas law. It should be noted that 43% of all housing units in the city of Houston are renter-occupied.
Austin Landlord-Tenant Regulations
Rules and regulations pertaining to landlord-tenant law in the city of Austin are the same as Texas state law. 33% of all housing units in the city of Austin are renter-occupied.
San Antonio Landlord-Tenant Regulations
Rules and regulations pertaining to landlord-tenant law in the city of Austin are the same as Texas state law. It should be noted that 22% of all housing units in the city of San Antonio are renter-occupied.