Are you looking for the details of the Texas rental lease agreement? Do you want to know what laws are imposed with property rental affairs in Texas? Are you looking for information that you or your landlord must disclose in the agreement?
Keep reading to know all these details. You can get a Texas rental lease agreement template from CocoSign. Cocosign has several templates to offer.
What Is a Texas Lease Agreement?
A Texas lease agreement is a legal document signed between a landlord and a tenant. This is a binding document that is written under the light of Texas landlord and tenant laws. This agreement is signed by the two parties when one agrees to rent his property to the other. This can be about the complete property or a portion of it, in exchange for the money.
This practical document addresses all terms and conditions that are applied to both parties, the landlord and the tenant. The agreement has a validity period after which this agreement terminates and the parties sign a new one. The Texas rental agreement is different from the Texas lease agreement. This difference is in terms of the validity period of both.
A rental agreement has a monthly basis, where it renews itself each month unless one of the parties involved terminates it. On the other hand, a lease agreement has a set duration during which it remains valid.
This duration has a start date and a termination date. Once the termination date is reached, the agreement invalidates. After this, a new agreement is to be signed. Generally, lease agreements have a yearly basis.
Texas Landlord and Tenant Laws
The Texas landlord-tenant laws are generally landlord-friendly. These laws allow the landlord and the tenant to deal with legal queries without the help of any lawyer. The Texas landlord and tenant laws include:
Security deposit limit and return
Texas law does not require the landlord to ask for a security deposit, however, some landlords still do. The law doesn’t specify any amount of security deposit amount. Typically, the security deposit demanded by landlords in Texas equals the rent for one month. The landlord must return the security amount within 30 days after a tenant moves out.
However, a landlord can retain some of the deposit amounts to cater for any damage caused by the tenant. A landlord can also retain the deposit amount to equalize any unpaid rent. In this case, the landlord must present an item list and a written account.
Small claims lawsuit
Under the Texas law, it is legal for a tenant to sue a landlord for not returning the deposit amount. A tenant can do this if the deposit amount reaches a level of $10,000. Similarly, landlords can defend themselves legally through a lawyer.
Late fee rules
The Texas state law rules that a landlord can give the tenant a move out notice. This 3-days notice to leave his building is issued if the tenant fails to pay rent.
A late fee on non-payment or delayed payment of rent is not legal in Texas. However, some landlords do charge a late fee. This is done in terms of fixed dollar amounts, percentages, or both. However, a landlord wishing to charge a late fee must mention it in the agreement before it is signed.
The Texas state gives the tenants a right to withhold rent payment if the landlord fails to get the required maintenance done. Moreover, if a tenant wishes, he can practice the repair and deduct method. In this method, the tenant gets the required maintenance done and deducts the cost from the rent.
Termination and eviction
A landlord can terminate and demand eviction from a tenant if he fails to pay the rent. The law gives the tenant a 3-day notice. Someone wishing to give a different duration shall mention it in the agreement.
Texas Lease Disclosures and Addendums
The Texas law includes some things that are a must for the landlord to disclose in the agreement. These include:
Landlord’s name and address
This applies to all the rental units located in Texas. The law requires the landlord to disclose complete contact information for the tenant. This is done so that in future a legal document may be sent at the correct address.
Parking rules disclosure
This disclosure applies to multi-unit complexes where there are rules and restrictions on parking. The landlords must attach a copy of the parking rules with the agreement signed.
Late fee disclosure
This applies to any unit where a landlord wishes to charge a late fee. This must be mentioned in the agreement. Landlords can charge this fee with a 2-days grace period given to the tenant. The amount of the late fee must not cross 12% of the due balance for 4 or fewer units.
Emergency contact number
This applies to any property that has an on-site management office. The state law requires an emergency contact number that the property manager must provide. This number should be available 24/7 to contact.
Right to repair disclosure
This applies to all rental units. The state gives the tenant a right to demand repair and maintenance from the landlord. However, all the terms and conditions on this right must be mentioned in the agreement.
Lead-based paint disclosure
This applies to buildings constructed before 1978. It is the federal law that a landlord must disclose the use of lead-based paints in the building. The landlord must also provide the tenant with all the risks and hazards posed by such paints.
Optional Disclosures and Addendums
Some disclosures are not mandatory by the Texas law to include in the agreement. However, including these optional disclosures saves the landlord and tenants a lot of trouble in the future. These include:
- Medical marijuana use: The landlord can mention where marijuana use is allowed in the building, and if it is allowed or not. The Texas law allows the landlord to restrict marijuana use in their property.
- Move-in checklist: It is a suggestion to the landlord to provide a list of damages present in the building before a tenant moves in. This helps in tracing out the damages caused by the tenant.
- Late and returned check fee: A landlord can disclose the amount of late fee or return fee they will charge the tenant on late payment of rent or a cheque that bounces. Texas law doesn’t specify the amount of late fee, it should be reasonable, not more than 10% of the rent.
- Shared utilities: A landlord can disclose how the utilities are to be shared and how the bill is expected to be calculated. This gives the tenants an estimate of their monthly expenses.
- Bed bug disclosures: This applies to units that have a history of infestation. A landlord can disclose the current status of bed bugs.
- Asbestos disclosures: For buildings built before 1981, a landlord can disclose the presence of asbestos.
- Mold disclosure: Landlords can disclose the presence of molds in the building.
Now, you have read about the Texas rental lease agreement, their laws, and required disclosures. You can get a Texas rental lease agreement template from CocoSign. CocoSign has a big collection of templates that you can browse from.
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