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 below disclosures are required in residential lease agreements for some or all rental units in Texas.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in Texas.
The name of the title property holder or the dwelling unit’s management company 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.
This information shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy. Upon the tenant’s request, this information should be provided within 7 days of the request.
Parking Rules Disclosure
Applicable to multi-unit complexes with parking rules and restrictions in Texas.
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. If the rules or policies are in the lease agreement or provided as an attachment to the lease agreement, the title to the paragraph containing the rules or policies must state “Parking” or “Parking Rules” and be capitalized, underlined, or printed in bold print.
Late Fee Disclosure
Applicable to any unit charging late fees in Texas.
In Texas, rent is considered late after 2 full days of being unpaid. For a landlord to collect a late fee, it must be outlined in the rental agreement to be enforceable and the fee must be “reasonable.” Late fees may include an initial fee and a daily fee for each day any portion of the tenant’s rent continues to remain unpaid, and the combined fees shall be considered a single late fee.
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 below 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 in Texas.
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 and posted in a conspicuous location outside of the outside the management or superintendent’s 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.
In accordance with TX Prop Code § 92.056, a tenant’s repair and deduct remedies must be disclosed in the lease. This informs a tenant if there are conditions that pose a risk to the tenant’s health and safety, or if notices of repairs aren’t addressed within 7 days, a tenant can take action (i.e., seek repairs from professionals or seek remedies). The information must be provided in bold or underlined text and clearly visible in the rental agreement.
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:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
For more information about this disclosure requirement, click here.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Texas law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
|Optional Disclosure||How the Disclosure is Helpful|
|Asbestos||This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.|
|Bed Bugs||If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.|
|Medical Marijuana Use||Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
|Mold Disclosure||Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.|
|Move-in Checklist||A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.|
|Non-Refundable Fees||A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.|
|Shared Utilities Arrangements||For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.|
|Smoking||Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.|
Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures
Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.
If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)
It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.
Popular Texas Lease Agreement Templates
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.