The Texas rental agreements are legal contracts written between a landlord and a tenant who wishes to use a real property. These documents contain the terms both parties must comply with, including the amount and due date of regular compensatory payments (“rent”). All agreements are subject to the Texas landlord-tenant laws.
Texas Rental Agreement Types
Texas Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name & Address (required for all) – Landlords in Texas must provide their contact information or the contact information of an agent authorized to act on their behalf in the lease agreement for establishing correspondence for legal notices and other communication.
- Parking Rules Disclosure (required for some) – To be enforceable, Texas landlords who impose parking rules must provide a copy of the rules along with the lease agreement, and the tenant must sign the attachment titled “Parking” or “Parking Rules” in capitalized, underlined, and bold font.
- Late Fee Disclosure (required for some) – For late fees to be enforced in Texas, they must be included in the lease agreement, and they may not be charged until after a 2-day grace period from the rent’s due date nor exceed 12% for 4 or fewer units and 10% if there are 5 or more units.
- Emergency Phone Number Disclosure (required for some) – Texas landlords are required to provide an emergency phone number in the lease agreement that can be accessed 24-hours per day to report emergencies if the property has an on-site management office.
- Right to Repairs Disclosure (required for all) – To ensure habituality is maintained in the property, Texas lease agreements must include a specific disclosure on the right for tenants to request repairs and remedies in the rental unit, provided in bold or underlined text.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – For any property built before 1978, a Texas residential lease agreement must contain a lead based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet and notice of any hazards in the property to avoid landlord damages resulting from exposure.
To learn more about required disclosures in Texas, click here.
Texas Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Texas does not enumerate specific amenities that all landlords must provide to their tenants. It does, however, require repairs made to any provided amenities to be made within 7 days of a filed request. Otherwise, an effected tenant may be empowered to perform a repair and deduct.
- Evictions – Whether a Texas tenant is being evicted for non-payment of rent, committing an illegal act, or breaking a lease term, they are entitled to only a 3-day notice. As such, most evictions in Texas are carried out in under a week.
- Security Deposits – Texas state law does not currently cap how much a landlord can charge as a security deposit. Despite this, the state does require security deposits to be returned within 30 days of a tenant’s lease ending.
- Lease Termination – To break off a month-to-month lease in Texas, a tenant must supply at least 30 days of notice. However, to break off a fixed-term lease in Texas, a tenant must supply proof of one or more extenuating factors. These include active military duty, unit uninhabitability, landlord harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Texas landlords who intend to raise their rent rates are not limited when it comes to the value of said increases. The state also does not require advance notice of these increases. This state does not even limit most service fees in value, mandating only that they be “reasonable.”
- Landlord Entry – Texas landlords must provide notice before entering an occupied unit. However, the precise amount is not standardized by law. So, any specific notice requirements and emergency entry policies must be established through a lease agreement.
- Settling Legal Disputes – The Texas small claims court system only accepts cases valued at less than $10,000. Also, these courts allow both parties to bring legal representation.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Texas, click here.