Texas Landlord Tenant Rights
Renting a home as a lessor or a lessee can be complicated and time-consuming. Let us help you get the information you need on rentals in Texas so you can know your rights and your responsibilities ahead of time.
Texas landlords have the following responsibilities to their tenants:
- Maintain a habitable unit by making repairs to existing amenities that materially affect the health or safety of the ordinary tenant
- Provide hot water and smoke detectors
Landlords have the responsibility to make certain disclosures to their tenants. These disclosures include:
- Lead-based paint
- Authorized agents
- Right to repair and deduct
- Parking rules
- Late fees
- Emergency phone number
Texas renters have the following responsibilities to their landlords:
- Keep the unit in a safe and habitable condition
- Properly use fixtures and maintain them in a clean and sanitary condition
- Make small repairs and do minor routine maintenance
- Immediately inform landlord of any maintenance issues
- Refrain from disturbing other tenants or neighbors
Texas law doesn’t establish a maximum security deposit limit or guidance on interest fees. If given, the security deposit must be returned along with an itemized list of charges and deductions in 30 days. If the landlord doesn’t return the security deposit in 30 days then they are liable for up to 3 times the deposit plus a $100 fine per occurrence plus attorney fees.
Rent and Fees
Landlords do not have to notify tenants in advance of a rent increase and can raise the rent as much as they would like.
Late fees are allowed if they are reasonable.
The tenant is allowed to do their own repairs and deduct up to 1 month’s rent or $500 if they give written notice to the landlord.
The landlord is allowed to recover reasonable attorney fees and must make a reasonable attempt to mitigate damages.
Landlords can evict tenants for the following reasons:
- Nonpayment of rent
- Lease violation
- No lease or the lease has ended
Immediate evictions are allowed for public indecency.
Lockouts are allowed in limited circumstances, but utility shut offs are prohibited.
For non-payment of rent, the landlord has the right to give the tenant a 3-day notice to pay or move out.
Lease Termination Notice
For a yearly lease, the landlord must give the tenant at least one month’s notice to terminate. If the lease is month-to-month, the tenant must receive one month’s notice unless the lease agreement states otherwise.
Tenants may end a lease early in these instances (but may be liable to pay the rest of the lease term):
- Early termination clause
- Active military duty
- Uninhabitable unit
- Landlord harassment
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault