Texas Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 29, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

The Texas residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a written contract outlining the terms and conditions of renting a property for both the landlord and tenant. Once endorsed by the landlord and tenant, the tenant will make periodic payments (“rent”) in exchange for use of the property.

Texas Lease Agreement Disclosures

The following disclosures are required in residential lease agreements for some or all rental units in Texas.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord’s Name/Address All Units
Parking Rules Multi-Unit Complexes
Late Fee All Units
Emergency Phone Number Units with On-Site Maintenance
Right to Repairs All Units
Lead Based Paint Units Built Prior to 1978
Questions? To chat with a Texas landlord tenant attorney, Click here

Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Texas.

The name of the holder of record title according to the deed records in the county clerk’s office shall provide their name and address (a street address or post office box shall suffice) so future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. If a business located off-site from the rental unit is responsible for managing the dwelling, the name and street address of the management company must be provided. Generally, this information is provided in the rental agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy.

Parking Rules Disclosure

Applicable to multi-unit complexes with parking rules & restrictions.

Texas landlords who are enforcing parking rules or vehicle towing for multi-unit complexes must provide a copy of the rules in or alongside the rental agreement. They must either sign the lease to agree to the terms or explicitly sign the attachment to acknowledge the notice, which should be represented in capitalized, underlined, and bold-printed “Parking” or “Parking Rules”.

Download: Texas Parking Space Rental Agreement Disclosure Form (PDF) which can be used as an attachment, alongside the following disclosure in the lease:

PARKING RULES. Attached to this lease agreement are the terms for the parking policy, which must be completed and signed by Tenant and Landlord.

Late Fee Disclosure

Applicable to any unit charging late fees.

Late fees in Texas must be outlined in the rental agreement to be enforceable after a two-day grace period. These fees can be imposed as an initial fee and daily fee for late payments, as long as the overall charges are still within reasonable guidelines.

Fees may not exceed 12% of the overdue balance if there are four or fewer dwelling units in the building, or 10% if there are five or more units in the same building unless reasonable damages exceeding these sums can be demonstrated by the landlord.

The following is an example of a late fee section:

LATE FEE. If rent is not paid by the due date outlined in this lease, a late fee of $__ or __% will be assessed to the balance due after a 2-day grace period. A daily fee of $__ will be charged for payments after the grace period expires, not to exceed State regulations.

Emergency Phone Number Disclosure

Applicable to any property with an on-site management office.

Texas requires property management companies and landlords to provide a 24-hour emergency phone number that can be used to report emergencies within the building. It should be included in the rental agreement as well as posted in a conspicuous location outside of the residing office.

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER. In the case of an emergency, Landlord or a property manager can be reached at ___-___-____ to report a problem.

Right to Repairs Disclosure

Applicable to all rental units.

In Texas, each rental agreement must contain the state statutes for the right of a tenant to request repairs or remedies of conditions. They must be provided in bold or underlined text and clearly visible in the rental agreement.

LANDLORD LIABILITY AND TENANT REMEDIES; NOTICE AND TIME FOR REPAIR. (a) A landlord’s liability under this section is subject to Section 92.052(b) regarding conditions that are caused by a tenant and Section 92.054 regarding conditions that are insured casualties.

(b) A landlord is liable to a tenant as provided by this subchapter if:

(1) the tenant has given the landlord notice to repair or remedy a condition by giving that notice to the person to whom or to the place where the tenant’s rent is normally paid;

(2) the condition materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant;

(3) the tenant has given the landlord a subsequent written notice to repair or remedy the condition after a reasonable time to repair or remedy the condition following the notice given under Subdivision (1) or the tenant has given the notice under Subdivision (1) by sending that notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, by registered mail, or by another form of mail that allows tracking of delivery from the United States Postal Service or a private delivery service;

(4) the landlord has had a reasonable time to repair or remedy the condition after the landlord received the tenant’s notice under Subdivision (1) and, if applicable, the tenant’s subsequent notice under Subdivision (3);

(5) the landlord has not made a diligent effort to repair or remedy the condition after the landlord received the tenant’s notice under Subdivision (1) and, if applicable, the tenant’s notice under Subdivision (3); and

(6) the tenant was not delinquent in the payment of rent at the time any notice required by this subsection was given.

(c) For purposes of Subsection (b)(4) or (5), a landlord is considered to have received the tenant’s notice when the landlord or the landlord’s agent or employee has actually received the notice or when the United States Postal Service has attempted to deliver the notice to the landlord.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (b)(3) or (4), in determining whether a period of time is a reasonable time to repair or remedy a condition, there is a rebuttable presumption that seven days is a reasonable time. To rebut that presumption, the date on which the landlord received the tenant’s notice, the severity and nature of the condition, and the reasonable availability of materials and labor and of utilities from a utility company must be considered.

(e) Except as provided in Subsection (f), a tenant to whom a landlord is liable under Subsection (b) of this section may:

(1) terminate the lease;

(2) have the condition repaired or remedied according to Section 92.0561;

(3) deduct from the tenant’s rent, without necessity of judicial action, the cost of the repair or remedy according to Section 92.0561; and

(4) obtain judicial remedies according to Section 92.0563.

(f) A tenant who elects to terminate the lease under Subsection (e) is:

(1) entitled to a pro rata refund of rent from the date of termination or the date the tenant moves out, whichever is later;

(2) entitled to deduct the tenant’s security deposit from the tenant’s rent without necessity of lawsuit or obtain a refund of the tenant’s security deposit according to law; and

(3) not entitled to the other repair and deduct remedies under Section 92.0561 or the judicial remedies under Subdivisions (1) and (2) of Subsection (a) of Section 92.0563.

Download: Texas Right to Repairs Disclosure Form (PDF)

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.

It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in Texas to:

For more information about this disclosure requirement, click here.

Download: Texas Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Texas law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

  • Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Texas law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke to not interfere with other tenants’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
  • Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
  • Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.
  • Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to the tenant’s negligence during the lease term.

Below is a list of popular residential lease agreement templates provided by local real estate and property management organizations in Texas.

  • Texas Apartment Association (English PDF, Spanish PDF) – a non-profit trade association that provides a residential lease agreement template for its members. The template is 8 pages long and has 43 sections, including provisions specific to Texas property code on security devices, abandoned property and remedies for lease violations. Membership costs vary by local chapter but typically range from $200-300/year for small landlords.
  • Texas Realtors Association (English PDF) – a membership organization that provides a residential lease agreement template for its members only. The template is 16 pages long and has 34 sections, including various disclosures from Texas property code on issues such as security deposits, late fees and door locks. Membership costs vary by local chapter but typically range from $250-300/year for affiliates.

Sources