Tenant Rights in Texas – What You Need to Know

If you are a landlord in Texas, you must think about more than your bottom line: You also need to understand tenant rights so you don’t violate the law. Tenant rights tend to favor the landlord in the state of Texas, but you still need to know the law so you can stay in good standing. Get the details on basic tenant rights and what you can do to protect yourself.

  • Friday, March 1, 2019


Evictions in Texas

If you’re a landlord in Texas, free eviction notices might come in handy. That’s because eviction laws favor the landlord. If a tenant is late on rent or breaks the lease in any other way, you just need to submit a three-day notice for eviction and then the tent must leave.

What if the tenant tries to catch up on the rent, including the late fees? You don’t have to accept it. You have the option of moving forward with the eviction, or you can accept the rent and let the tenant stay. The choice is yours.

The law is different for month-to-month leases: A month’s notice is required to evict someone on a month-to-month lease. However, landlords can avoid this by including a shorter time in the lease. As long as the tenant signs the lease, it will hold up in court.

Habitability in Texas

If you own rental property in Texas, it needs to be safe, sanitary, and habitable. That means you have to stay on top of repairs. However, there are some caveats to this rule. You can’t be held accountable for the shape of the property unless the rent is paid and the tenant submits a written repair request. You have seven days from receiving the letter to make the repairs.

If the seven days pass without repairs, the tenant has to send a second notice. At that point, you need to make the repairs before the tenant takes legal action.

Tenants cannot withhold rent while waiting for repairs. In fact, you can evict a tenant who does this. Make sure the rent is up-to-date and then make the repairs in a timely fashion.

Rent Control

The idea of rent control is frightening to landlords. You want to charge a fair price for your property and rent control can get in the way of making a profit. While California and some other states have rent control laws on the books, the same is not true for Texas. Regardless of where you own property in Texas, rent control guidelines are not mandatorily applicable. That means you can charge as much as you want in rent. Of course, if you charge more than the going rate, it will be difficult to find tenants, so keep that in mind when setting rental prices.

Collecting and Refunding Security Deposits

After you finish the tenant screening process and select a renter, you will be ready to collect the security deposit. Keep the deposit tucked away so you can return it to the renter within 30 days of vacating the property.

If you need to withhold some of the deposit, you must create an itemized list that describes the costs. If the damages exceed the amount of the security deposit, you’ll need to send a bill to the former tenant.

Protect Yourself as a Landlord

From following all the rental guidelines to running a rental background check before filling a property, you need to protect yourself at all stages of the process. When you run the right checks and follow the rules, you are much more likely to have a positive outcome. That means you can collect a passive income from your various properties without dealing with many issues.


VerticalRent® is not a law firm, and the employees of VerticalRent® are not acting as your attorney. Our educational blog or landlord forms engine is not a substitute for the sound advice of a local attorney, whom is familiar with your local laws and regulations. VerticalRent® cannot provide you with legal advice, nor are we permitted to engage in the practice of law.

We are prohibited from providing you with any sort of advice, opinion, explanation, or recommendation about your possible legal rights – which may include remedies, options, defenses, or the selection of landlord forms available on the VerticalRent platform. Our platform is designed to provide landlords and property managers with powerful online tools to screen applicants, collect rent online, advertise vacancies, and generate free landlord forms. To that extent, our blog often publishes general information on issues commonly encountered by landlords – such as evicting tenants.

Although VerticalRent takes every reasonable effort possible to ensure the accuracy of its consumer reports and landlord forms, we do not guarantee or warrant the information to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. The law changes rapidly across the United States, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. We will not be held responsible for any loss, injury, claim, damage, or liability related to the use of our blog, landlord forms or consumer reports generated from this platform.

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