Texas Sublease Agreement

Last Updated: December 29, 2023 by Jessica Menefee

Texas Residential Sublease Agreement Template_1 on iPropertyManagement.com

The Texas sublease agreement is a legal contract that allows a tenant to rent out all or a portion of the property to a subtenant in exchange for regular payments.

    Does a Tenant Need the Landlord’s Permission to Sublet in Texas?

    A tenant does need a landlord’s explicit written permission to sublet in Texas. Even after permission is given, a landlord still has the right to reject a subtenant if they are unqualified, such as for having a bad review from a reference or a poor work history.

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    Standardized Texas Sublease Agreements

    A standard form can be used in Texas to create a sublease. Here’s what is typically included in a Texas sublease agreement:

    • The Names of the Parties – The original tenant under the lease is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessor.” The third party that is subleasing the rental unit is named in the sublease and is called the “Sublessee.”
    • Term – The beginning and ending date of the sublease agreement.
    • Rental Unit Location – The address for the rental unit as described in the master lease.
    • Rent – How much the rent is, when it needs to be paid, and how to pay it.
    • Master Lease Inclusion – A copy of the Master Lease is attached to the sublease. If any exceptions in the Master Lease are not included they should be clearly stated in this section.
    • General Conditions – A statement that the written sublease agreement contains all of the agreements between the parties and can only be modified by written permission of the parties to the agreement.
    • Security Deposit – The security deposit is held by the Sublessor (not the landlord). There is no limit on the maximum security deposit in Texas.
    • Pet Deposit – Landlords in Texas can charge an additional pet deposit, except for service dogs and emotional support animals.
    • Return of Security Deposit – Texas landlords have 30 days after the tenant vacates the rental unit to return any unused portion of the security deposit by mail, except the landlord is not obligated to return the security deposit until the tenant provides a forwarding address.
    • Smoke Alarm Addendum – Texas Property Code Section 92.255 requires landlords to install a smoke alarm in every bedroom of a dwelling. According to Section 92.254, the smoke alarm you install should be properly tested, and listed for use by certain organizations such as the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Provide the make, model, location, and date tested in bold or underlined font and explain the consequences of disabling a smoke alarm. State that the subtenant will be held liable for civil penalties, damages, and legal fees if he or she intentionally disables a smoke alarm.
    • Asbestos Addendum – Texas landlords with properties built before 1981 can include information about Asbestos on the property including any locations that may have asbestos and testing dates.
    • Lead-Based Paint Notice – Under Federal law, if the rental unit’s premises were built before 1978, the Sublessee must be given a written warning notice, called a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure.
    • Inventory of Included Items – The list of items in the rental unit that are part of the sublease which may include furniture or appliances.
    • Utilities – The utilities to be paid by the Sublessor and those that are to be paid by the Sublessee.
    • Disputes – A description of how disputes between the Sublessor and Sublessee are to be settled, which may include mediation and binding arbitration to avoid more expensive legal proceedings.
    • Liability – The sublessee will be liable for any damages to the Sublessor. The Sublessor is responsible for paying for any damages that impact the landlord as stated in the master lease agreement.
    • Authorized Occupants – This identifies the new tenant(s) and those that are authorized to live in the rental unit including any policy about short-term guests.
    • Parking Policy – List designated areas where subtenants and their guests may park and include information about any parking fees or towing policies.
    • Smoking Policy – If smoking is restricted in the rental unit and any designated smoking areas are identified in the sublease.
    • Landlord’s Consent – This section describes how the landlord is asked to give permission (if permission is not already included in the Master Lease). Tenants may create a signed sublease that is conditional on being accepted by the landlord before the sublease becomes effective.
    • Signature: The signature and date for the Sublessor, the Sublessee, any Co-Sublessors, and Co-Sublessees (if they exist).

    Tax Implications of a Sublease

    In Texas, a sublessor may be subject to state and local taxes if they sublet a property for 30 days or less. For example, in Dallas, taxes may include:

    • Texas State Hotel Tax – 6%
    • Dallas Hotel Occupancy Tax – 9%