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.
Get our free newsletter

Join 200,000+ landlords

  • ​Tips to increase income
  • Time-saving techniques
  • ​Powerful tools & resources
Topics:
  Laws & Regulations

1,151 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Tanya Lovenberg

    Can a landlord charge a tenant with criminal mischief charges for destruction of property (interior trailer house door), if that property is worth less than the deposit given and tenant has offered in writing to pay for the door out of their pocket as well

    • Yvette Nance

      ravina apt will keep your deposit plus make up stuff like breaking window and deep cleaning to gwt more money from u.

    • Nicole wagner

      I saw someone leave an info under comment section on helping to repair credit I was interested in knowing more and if the hacker still does this. I had poor credit, a old bankruptcy & problems with getting approved for a apartment due to 2 broken leases from the past which I explained to CREDIT BRAI NIAC when I made contact to him. The hacker cleaned my credit records and improved my credit score. Everyone having credit issues should reach him a t creditbrainiac.repair (@ g ma i l . com).

  • Julie Hough

    I have leased my property to a married couple who are now divorcing. He has moved out of the property. The wife will be paying all future rents. Does he by breaking his lease forfeit his portion of the security deposit? Who is financially responsible for paying for the locks to be rekeyed? I there a document stating that he no longer has the right to enter the home?

    • Ken

      Read your lease terms. Deposit is for the premises. Once returned, they can squabble over who gets what (unless they paid separate deposits as separate leaseholders). If the rent is paid, it doesn’t matter by whom. As a LL, tenant domestic issues are not your problem unless there is violence (or one of the very specific reasons stated in CH92 (link at the top of the page).

      In CH92, it details lock changes. Search the page for ‘lock’. If allowed by lease, tenant can change the locks at their expense and give you a key for emergency.

      She would need a restraining order or similar document. Don’t get in the middle of domestic issues.

  • PAOLA BOLIVAR

    i need help please i was renting a home for landlord for 3 yrs i was asked to move on Easter weekend i had to pay prorated rent on the new rental and turn in keys on the 3rd of April of the old home. today she calls and states she is keeping $600 from my deposit to cover up on cleaning shampoo of carpet and fix painted walls. i just feel she didn’t give us enough time. she was supposed to walk through the home and tell me what to do to get my deposit back due that she would transfer to new property.

    • Ken

      Deposit cannot be withheld for “regular wear and tear”. Please open the link for CH92 at the top of this page and search for the section dealing with security deposits. It gives all of the stipulations and remedies for your situation. It’s too long to get into with the limited space to reply here.

  • Cassidy

    Okay I moved in with a friend and we agreed to 100 a week in rent I have already paid my rent and now they want to kick me out what are my rights ??

    • Ken

      Okay, they can give you 1 week’s notice to evict.

    • Carol W

      It’s much better to pay any rent by the month(30 days); then you will always be given 3 day and 30 days to move out. I’ve never understood the 3 day concept but the 30 is legal and gives you time to find a place……

      • Ken

        When people come here asking questions, they are expecting replies from those who do understand the eviction laws. This tenant is on a weekly lease and subject to different terms. Your 3/30 reply is misleading and could cause problems for the tenant as it has nothing to do with him.

        It refers to CH91, Sec. 91.001
        (c) If a notice of termination is given under Subsection (a) and if the rent-paying period is less than a month, the tenancy terminates on whichever of the following days is the later:
        (1) the day given in the notice for termination; or
        (2) the day following the expiration of the period beginning on the day on which notice is given and extending for a number of days equal to the number of days in the rent-paying period

  • Lili92

    Hi I had some questions I am renting a apt I’ve had a roach problem ever since I moved here I’ve told the office and they even lied about sending pest control I’m a stay at home mom and I would of notice if any pest control people would of came it’s now to the point where I have them crailng ln my bed at night I have a 6 month old baby and I just recently took off her car seat cover to wash it and little did I know her car seat was infested with roaches I am trying to move out but they want to charge me 80%of the rent is that legal or can I just move out becuase like i said I’ve told them several times about this problem. Oh but they still charge me for pest control every month when they’ve never sent any pest control people to my apt help

    • Carol W

      Never pay or agree to pay for pest control. I would call the County Health to get them to get the landlord to keep his buildings infestation free….. I would seriously find another place and report them to the local Welfare in your town….We have laws and that is truly a danger to your baby and you and should be addressed.
      Once over 20 yrs ago, I moved into an apt that didn’t have air conditioning but 1000’s of mosquitos. I went to the landlady the day after I moved in and demanded my money back or I was prepared to tell the Health Dept over these mosquitos. It broke my heart to put my 6mo old medicine on those bites with her screaming. From then on I checked out every apt I ever moved into and have raised 4 children who are happy.

  • sophie fritz

    Hi,

    In Texas, if a tenant leave the premises in the middle of the month but gave one month notice.
    Are they reliable for all month rent or we need to prorate the month they are leaving?
    For example They gave notice in April 15 and leave May 15th? Are they suppose to pay the full month of May?

    • Ken

      If it is a monthly lease, then yes they would owe for the entire month. Actually, if the lease was ending May 1, then they were ‘late’ on giving a 30 day notice. The contract terms are what is important and can be enforced. Unless there is something specifically stated in writing in the lease saying something like that is allowed. Highly doubtful something like that would be in a lease. Does the tenant think they are renting a motel room? If they didn’t pay for the month but resided there, you could also consider it a nonpayment which could deny them getting their deposit back also.

  • Patrice Bailey

    If my land Lord sold the property and Noble home how much time do the leaflet have to give me to move out

  • Katen Woolsey

    Tenant was given to the 31st of March to vacate property, they stayed to 15th or later into month of April. The house is vacated no electric or water does the owner have the right to inspect property ?Or is it burglary of habitat/felony?

    • Ken

      Of course you do. Reasonable cause to believe the property is vacant prior to a term ending is enough to inspect for verification.

  • Patricia Williams

    What a contract and you were given the property and now the owner wants it back to years later are you considered a tenant or visitor even though you paid up everything for the property including the repairs?

  • Kristi Harris

    In Texas if you own a business and the landlord doesn’t renew your lease. Is their a time frame that you get?

    • Ken

      LL should have given you at least a 30 day notice. Time-frames and responsibilities should be listed in your lease agreement.

  • Carol W

    When I moved into my apartment, I knew that the apt opposite me on the other end was used as a storage and tool apt for repairs. Often this maintenance man hasn’t used saws often in this breezeway but has blocked my only exit often with stoves and refrigerators and my being in a wheelchair and I have called often about the blockage. To my left are humungus stairs that I can’t go down at all and the way past that apt/repair shop that the owner is using without any care for the 7 apartments within this section. The only access to the mailboxes, he has made a ramp after months of asking. Denied me handicap bars in my bathtub/shower. I was charged 525 in a deposit and after 9 months want to give notice for lack of peaceful enjoy. Elect pro

  • Carol W

    Also because of bad electric plugs, ive lost a TV and a Computer lap top. landlord would not replace. There is way too many problems. I want my deposit back and to be able to move after 9 mos out of here. I’m 73 and only live on Social Security.

    PS Landlord allows PITBULLS in here and one man has been bitten and had to have Rabies shots and I was barked by one of the PBs and threatened within 3 feet of one of these. The tenents let their dogs run free. It’s getting to be dangerous since I have to use a wheelchair outside my apt.
    Should I start carring a butcher knife to protect myself. I have no peaceful enjoyment with maintenance sawing wood and blocking my path????

    • Ken

      I have 3 Pitbull Terriers, and they are more gentle and caring than a previous poodle and cocker spaniel. Any breed of dog can be hostile. But this isn’t about your fear of dogs, so let’s address your other issues.

      You are still a tenant, they legally retain your deposit. You twice contradicted yourself regarding the sawing so not sure what to say. Electric plugs, renter’s insurance is for this. As to ADA and fire code, you can file a complaint there. Although if it’s blocked, how could you get down to worry about the dogs? You could get an atty, but most of the complaints would be dismissed based on what you said.

      Tenants can give notice to vacate, read your lease and CH92 regarding this for terms. The link is at the top of the page.

      • Carol W

        What are you, an idiot? As far as getting down through the breezeway, there is a state law that prevents my being blocked from leaving and coming back to my apt.
        As for leaving, you have never been on section 8 before since I’m paying 233 on a 525 apt. I’m super tied to the apt because I can loose sec 8 if I move before the yr lease is over.
        As for your safe pit bulls, the man upstairs has been bitten twice and had to take RABIES shots recently. The first time trying to protect women from pit bull attacking her dog and he got right in the way after she got bitten. The dogs are required to be on leashes at all times which these people ignore…..they aren’t responsible pet owners with shots requirement and leash requirements.

        • Ken

          Idiot? Ok, let’s see… “there is a state law that prevents my being blocked from leaving and coming back to my apt.” I addressed that. Did you have comprehension issues when I said, “As to ADA and fire code, you can file a complaint there”? Was “ADA and fire code” too confusing? Also, work on your own punctuation before calling others an idiot.

          Your comparing my dogs to one that bit someone else is just ignorance and showing your irrational fear. There are leash laws, vaccination/collar laws, and irresponsible owner laws. That is a crappy OWNER issue that you can deal with that within legal means. Don’t just demonize “PITBULLS” as any dog can bite, and due diligence is your responsibility. If the dog was rabid, why is it still there?

  • Maria

    I need to know what I can do with my ex-boyfriends personal belongings. He doesn’t reside there nor is he on my lease, however I was told because his things are still at my home when I had to call the police on him I was told I had to evict him. Since being informed of this he has not come back to my home and I mailed a 3 day notice to vacate to the only address I know of for him, which is a P.O. Box. I have no clue where he is. I would like to move his things to a storage and mail him a letter advising him where his items are being kept. Would this be illegal for me to do?

    • Ken

      *Not legal advice*
      As to legal notices, sending certified mail (return receipt requested) to the last known address. Unless the PO was known after, then the known address is your house. Keep a copy. 3Day Eviction could easily be for nonpayment. File on 4th for possession only. Explain to judge tenant is no longer there but belongings are. Don’t elaborate, treat like tenant w/ verbal agreement. 6 days later, file Writ of Possession. You can have everything packed for removal when constable arrives & put on sidewalk. Dispose after 36hrs.

      Or, store all items for 90 days and send notice to last known the same way. The first way is foolproof against lawsuit for theft. The other can be a grey area and sometimes cost even more.

      • Carol W

        Don’t store anything. AS a landlady in San Antonio, after abandonment, the curb is best served after proper notice.

    • Carol W

      Don’t move his things to a storage which makes you responsible for the payments. I did that and he never paid the entire 400 that was accumulated. While in jail, he had someone mail me 100. When he got out, I had moved and he didn’t know where I was. When the storage was up for sale by his neglect, he refused to pay and lost his tools and clothes. I was glad that I was out from under.
      They are right as long as his clothes are there. Send him a registered mail, not phone. If after 10 days he doesn’t recover the clothes, id put them out at the curb or yard. They are out of the house and he has no right to occupy your space……

      • Ken

        Exactly. While it is a legal option, I had to toss it out there. But it’s not one that I would encourage at all, as I explained in the last 2 sentences. Too easy to get burned. Also, there is a difference between just “registered mail” and “registered mail/return receipt requested”. The latter is specifically stated as the legal method of notification. If dealing with a “professional tenant” who looks for improper methods, they can nail you on this.

    • Ken

      Maria, please disregard CarolW’s reply. Giving a 10 day notice, much less with only ‘registered mail’, before putting personal property on a curb is NOT a legal method and can result in you getting sued and losing.

      While legal advice cannot be given online, opinion can be offered from those who are in court regularly and dealing with legalities. I can however state when something is blatantly illegal, and her advice is certainly that. My affirmation of “Exactly” was only referring to the first sentence, as I never recommend storing property.

  • Jared

    If 2 party cosigns to buy a mobile home and then one of the party gets married how does it affects the mobile home if there a disput about ownership of the mobile home and trying to force one party out of the mobile home.

    • Ken

      If there is dispute over ownership, you are likely going to need an atty. This has to do more with civil law than eviction law. If your case is pending for ownership, I do not believe you can be evicted pending outcome. You need an atty for legal clarification on this as we cannot give legal advice online.

  • GRETCHEN BOUDREAUX

    I rented a,garage apt and they didn’t ask for proof of income ,id or nothing. Signed a lease moved in and now a month later, they are,asking for proof of income.. and w2 for 2017. and landlord has been very rude and harrasing me with phone calls,and msgs. I dont even answer his calls r texts. Anymore,so he just shows up at my door. Do I have to provide this by law or can i just tell him I don’t see the need to provide it now. What purpose will that serve?

    • Ken

      Sec. 92.3515. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
      (1) criminal history;
      (2) previous rental history;
      (3) current income;
      (4) credit history; or
      (5) failure to provide accurate or complete information on the application form.
      The information being asked for should have been upfront. But a LL, for legal reasons, does need certain information. A new LL makes mistakes, it does not mean they are not still needing certain info. Your refusal to submit these simple things is a major red flag in itself as you would need to submit it to any other LL. Why not just work with them? Save the headache. If you were my tenant, I would be looking for any reason to evict before term for that – and win. Then you have to start over and still give it elsewhere.

      • GRETCHEN BOUDREAUX

        Well there’s no legal reason to evict me. And I don’t have a problem giving him the info. Just was wondering the legal answer to it. He just turned into a totally different person than when we met and signed the lease. First the pay stubs then parking, then wanting to come in and look at my apartment. Actually came in 2 times while I was at work . Just weird. Neighbor telling him who and when someone is at my place. Crazy stuff . So no i feel no need to give him anything but my id info..

        • Ken

          From your post, as it sounded like you were getting the ‘harassment’ from not offering that information in which it would sound like a suspicious tenant. Apparently not your case. In lieu of your clarification, it sounds like something else happened. Have you tried to have a talk to find out and clarify? When it comes to inspections, you have the right to peaceable enjoyment. With that comes notice prior to entry unless emergency. Read your lease carefully, as well as CH92 (link at top of page). I believe you will find some very helpful info there. However, I would still suggest a sit-down even in a public place and offer from that list of valid info. It might help to settle some issues. Compromise and cooperation goes a long way.

  • Dana

    Can a landlord charge you the same amount of rent as the deposit but you move in at the middle of the month and then charge you a prorated amount at the beginning of the next month

    • Ken

      Can you elaborate? For example, if the monthly is $500 and deposit $500. But you move in on 15th and get prorate for $250, then $500 the next month. That would be ‘normal’. The deposit would typically be a month’s rent +/-. Deposits differ from one LL to another.

  • Machine de moulage par injection

    I do believe all the ideas you have presented for your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very quick for starters. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  • Paloma Jimenez

    Is it legal for landlords to charge tenants the full amount of rent even tho the lease only allowed them to move in later in the month and still charge them the full amount on move out month even tho tenants are moving out days before the month ends?

  • Liz

    My landlord called last night to inform me that she needs me to move out in 30 days. She said the house needs extensive repairs and she will not charge me rent on June 1 so I can get a new place. I have lived here for 3 years and hav3 paid my rent every month. I asked her to return my security deposit so that I can secure a new place. She said no. She said that I could stay while repairs are being made (termite damage needs to be repaired). But she will not renew lease which expires Sept 30. Can she refuse to return my deposit when she is the one terminating the lease? Can she force me to stay while walls are being torn up and house treated for termites?

  • Kyle Tanksley

    I recently renewed my lease with my apartment starting on aug 1. my current lease is up july 31st (clearly) turns out that recently some family and financial issues have come up and i can no longer afford to stay in the lease. I have talked to the managers and tried to tell them that i can no longer afford to stay and they say that their hands are tied. is there anything that i can do to get out of this without having to pay another year of rent? thanks

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Be short, sweet and to the point.