Every state has its own set of legal requirements and statutes that govern landlords and tenants. Both parties need to know their rights under state law before entering into an agreement.
It’s in everyone’s best interests to cultivate a good relationship; after all, a tenant is looking for a secure home and the landlord is trying to run a profitable business while safeguarding his property. Being aware of the basic legal requirements means landlords and tenants will be better able to understand the other’s point of view.
Naturally, both landlords and tenants want to protect their rights. Clarity on key issues such as rent, deposits, repairs, and such paves the way for a mutually beneficial relationship free from legal hassles. The bottom line is by knowing and acting in accordance with state laws, landlords and tenants will be equipped to deal with most legal questions and problems.
Key laws Texas landlords and tenants need to know.
1. Landlords in Texas are required to provide tenants with certain information. This is usually done in the rental contract or lease and includes the name and address of the agent or owner. The rental document should also clearly state the tenant’s rights should the landlord fail to make necessary repairs that materially affect the physical health or safety of the tenant. This should be clearly written in bold typeface or underlined.
2. Additional conditions of an agreement must also be included in the lease, underlined or bolded so as to be obvious. These may include the landlord requiring written requests from the tenant concerning security devices or advance notice of surrender before the security deposit can be refunded.
3. The amount that a landlord may charge for a security deposit is not limited under Texas law but a landlord is required to refund the deposit within 30 days after the tenant has moved.
4. According to Texas law, a landlord has the right to charge a reasonable late fee if the rent is paid after the due date and any grace period (currently one day) according to your lease agreement.
5. In Texas, state law specifies the termination and eviction procedure. For example, if rental is not paid, the landlord can give an unconditional quit notice to the tenant, allowing them three days to move before the landlord can file for eviction. Leases end for the following reasons; as a result of the agreement of both parties, automatically when the lease ends, or because one of the parties breached the conditions of the lease.
6. Under Texas state law, landlords are required to provide security devices such as window latches, keyed dead bolts on exterior doors, sliding door pin locks and sliding door handle latches or sliding door security bars, and door viewers. Also, the landlord must provide smoke detectors. This provision may not be put aside and a tenant may not disconnect or disable the smoke detector.
The association between Texas landlords and tenants should be defined in the rental agreement, as it forms a clear foundation for the landlord and tenant relationship.