As a property owner, there are a variety of issues that may arise. To protect your interests, it is vital that you hire an experienced an attorney who can provide trustworthy advice. At Girling Law, our Jack TX landlord lawyer is well-equipped to provide you with legal advice on matters concerning property ownership.
Drafting a Well-Written Lease
A lease agreement is a legally binding document that defines rights, terms, and conditions of the parties. Even though Texas law allows for parties to enter into a lease verbally, we strongly recommend that you obtain a written lease agreement. If your lease agreement is in writing, it is less likely that there will be misunderstandings. Accordingly, we advise that you avoid verbal agreements where possible.
What to Include in a Lease Agreement
An experienced Jack TX landlord lawyer can assist you in writing a lease that advances your rights a landlord. A lease agreement will often address the following issues:
- Cost of rent
- When rent is due
- Identities of the parties
- Terms of the lease
- Requirements for a security and pet deposit
- Consequences for breaching the agreement
- Basis for eviction
- Terms applied to holdover tenants
- Legal duties and rights of the parties
- Procedure for terminating the lease
- Ability to assign rights or sublet the property
- Property maintenance requirements
Do Landlords Have the Right to Enter Leased Property?
Under Texas property laws, tenants’ right to privacy is highly protected. Accordingly, when a tenant begins his or her lease, your ability to enter the property becomes considerably limited. Although the law does not dictate the amount of notice you must give a tenant before entering the property, we recommend that you provide the tenant with at least twenty-four hours notice.
The lease agreement, however, can outline specific situations where you can legally enter the property as a landlord. For example, the agreement may allow you to come onto the property to make necessary repairs. A Jack TX landlord lawyer can assist you in drafting a lease agreement that provides you with significant access to your property without running afoul of the law.
At Girling Law, we strongly suggest that you do not enter the property unless expressly permitted by the terms of the lease. Many adverse consequences may stem from unlawfully entering the property, including but not limited to civil liability. Moreover, if you unlawfully enter the property, you may be providing the tenant with a legitimate justification for terminating their lease.
Under Texas law, landlords have the right to determine the amount of a security deposit as well as where that money is kept. Nevertheless, a landlord must return their tenant’s security deposit within thirty-days after the lease expires.
Under limited circumstances, however, a landlord can withdraw funds from the security deposit. For example, a landlord may withdraw funds to cover any unpaid rent or any significant repairs. If you need to withdraw funds from the tenant’s security deposit, we strongly advise that you maintain detail records.
If a landlord purposefully refuses to return a tenant’s security deposit, the tenant has the right to sue the landlord for up to three times the value of the deposit, in addition to any attorney’s fees and costs. A Jack TX landlord attorney can represent you should these claims arise.
Property Damages and Repairs
While it depends on the contents of the lease agreement, a landlord is generally responsible for making necessary repairs to the property. If a landlord fails to fulfill this obligation, the tenant is allowed to make the repairs and subtract any related costs from their rent. If you find yourself in a dispute with a tenant concerning repairs, our Jack TX landlord attorney can help you avoid or limit any liability.
Evicting a Tenant
As a landlord, you have the right to evict your tenant if they:
- Refuse to pay rent
- Conduct themselves in a manner prohibited by the lease
- Commit acts of public indecency
- Become a holdover tenant
Notice to Vacate
Before you can evict a tenant, the landlord must serve them with a Notice to Vacate that addresses the following issues:
- Date of service
- Contact information for the tenant
- Justification for the eviction notice
- Date that the tenant is required to vacate or date that unpaid rent is due
- A statement explaining that the landlord may take legal action to evict the tenant
- A description of how service was made
Where a landlord is attempting to evict a tenant for unpaid rent, he or she must provide the tenant a minimum of three days before taking any action, unless the lease states otherwise. Our Jack TX landlord lawyer understand these rules and procedures, and help can you abide by the law.
Representing Your Interests in Court
As a property owner, you may become involved in litigation. At Girling Law, we are ready to aggressively defend your interests in court.
Contact a Jack TX Landlord Attorney Today
Call Girling Law today at (817) 864-8228 to speak with a Jack TX landlord lawyer.