Texas Rental Laws

Written on September 18, 2012 by , updated on November 1, 2017

Flag of TexasThis article summarizes some key Texas Landlord-Tenant laws applicable to residential rental units.

We’ve used the Official State Statutes and other online sources cited below to research this information and it should be a good starting point in learning about the law.

With that said, our summary is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change, and may even vary from county to county or city to city.

You are responsible for performing your own research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

If you have legal questions or concerns, we recommend consulting with the appropriate government agencies and/or a qualified lawyer in your area. Your local or state bar association may have a referral service that can help you find a lawyer with experience in landlord-tenant law.

Official Rules and Regulations

Details

Security Deposit:

  • Security Deposit Maximum: No statute
  • Security Deposit Interest: No statute
  • Separate Security Deposit Bank Account: No statute
  • Pet Deposits and Additional Fees: No statute
  • Deadline for Returning Security Deposit: 30 days
  • Require Written Description / Itemized List of Damages and Charges: Yes (92.104)
  • Record Keeping of Deposit Withholdings: No statute

Lease, Rent & Fees:

    • Rent Increase Notice: No Statute (92.012)
    • Late Fees: Reasonable amount allowed
    • Returned Check Fees: No statute
    • Tenant Allowed to Withhold Rent for Failure to Provide Essential Services (Water, Heat, etc.): No Statute
    • Tenant Allowed to Repair and Deduct Rent: Yes, but not more than 1 month’s rent or $500. Tenant must give prior notice to Landlord.
    • Landlord Allow to Recover Court and Attorney’s Fees: Yes
    • Termination due to Public Indecency: Immediate
    • Subletting: Prohibited without prior consent
    • Landlord Must Make a Reasonable Attempt to Rerent if Tenant Vacates: Yes
    • Lockouts Allowed:

Yes, but conditions apply. (Sec. 92.0081)
Utility Shut-offs Allowed: No (Sec. 92.008(o))

Notices and Entry:

  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Yearly Lease: at least 1 month
  • Notice to Terminate a Lease – Month-to-Month: at least 1 month but tenant and landlord can make agreements in writing that differ from this.
  • Notice of date/time of Move-Out Inspection: No statute
  • Eviction Notice for Nonpayment: 3 days to pay or move-out – Landlord can file for eviction 3 days after notice is received. (Sec. 24.005)
  • Eviction Notice for Lease Violation: No Statute
  • Required Notice before Entry: Yes, but no notice period is specified (92.0081)
  • Entry Allowed with Notice for Maintenance and Repairs (non-emergency): Yes, but no notice period is specified (92.0081)
  • Entry Allowed During Tenant’s Extended Absence: No Statute
  • Notice to Tenants for Pesticide Use: No Statute
  • Emergency Entry Allowed without Notice: No Statute

Disclosures and Miscellaneous Notes:

  • Landlord must identify, in writing, the name and address of the property owner.
  • Landlord must identify, in writing, the name and address of the property manager.
  • Landlord can remove personal property of a deceased tenant who has abandoned the property 30 days after sending postmarked certified notice to the previously stated point-of-contact, and if no one has claimed the items. (Sec. 92.014.5)
  • Landlord must inform the Tenant, in writing, that they have the right to “Repair and deduct or the option to terminate the lease”, if the Landlord fails to make repairs that directly affect the health or safety of an ordinary tenant.
  • Landlord must inform the Tenant, in writing, that they may break a lease early in special circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence.
  • Landlords can require tenants to provide proof of domestic violence status before releasing tenants from a lease.

Court Related:

  • Small Claims Court Limits: $10,000
  • Collection agents or agencies, money brokers, and moneylenders are not allowed to use in small claims court.

Business Licenses:

  • Business License required: No state-wide statute, but local cities and counties may have regulations and requirements.  Check with your local governing authority.
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1,399 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Byrle Dickerson

    I have a Nephew that moved in September 2019 that has mental problems and is very violent makes threats to my neighbors because he is racist against blacks and mexicans I guess he had relationships with he was married the person he lived with kicked him because he use to beat her alot and won’t take his mental medicines I been trying to get him out of my house it hasn’t been easy and it cost alot as well what can I do to get him out

  • Dwayne

    I live in southeast Texas where the weather is not always consistent, and days like today (Nov 30) see temperatures almost reach 80°. My apartment complex controls whether the heat or A/C is turned on. So, it could be 50° the day before Thanksgiving and heaters are needed, but then the day after Black Friday it’s 25° warmer and no one is available in the office to switch from heat to A/C for the entire complex, and we’re stuck blasting hot air if the thermostat is on at all. Is this legal? And even if it is, shouldn’t the landlords/leasing office be required to disclose this information before leasing to a tenant?

  • Diana

    We recently moved into a rental house & needs to be leveled. We informed her that because of it not being leveled the tub was leaning to the right & made you feel as if you were going to fall and tub had no support under house. Well it did not seem to bother her so my husband took it upon his self to begin leveling the house himself on his free time (when not working) he was afraid tub would go thru floor. She agreed once he began and said she would supply any material and would pay him, well all material is wrong and now she is rushing him when she knows he works. This and other repairs were suppose to be done before we moved in but not. Can we deduct actual cost of house leveling from our rent (which would be more than 1 month rent).

    • Ken

      In short, no. Rent cannot be withheld except under specific circumstances. But statute clearly states repairs can’t be withheld in lieu of rent. You need to read the statute in full regarding repairs. And understand how the different sections come into play. There are many questions not answered in your description for a more definitive reply.

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