Landlord-tenant laws govern all aspects of renting a property detailing the duties and rights of landlords and tenants. Landlords in Texas know that staying on top of the landlord-tenant law is important to avoid landlord-tenant disputes which may lead to needing to acquire legal assistance.
What are the Rights and Responsibilities of a Texan Landlord?
- Housing Discrimination – are fair housing laws where a residential landlord may only reject other tenants based on their negative references from their previous place, bad behaviors in the past such as not paying rent on time, bad credit history, and other analogous circumstances or background checks. You cannot reject a prospective tenant due to his race, sex, religion, place of origin, familial status, or disability. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) prohibits any discrimination that may happen in the selection of a tenant.
- Following the State law for Rent Payment – you cannot unilaterally decide a rent increase or to evict a tenant if they fail to pay rent. You must first comply with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedures before you can do so such as giving a three-day notice before you can file for eviction.
- Knowing the Amount of Security Deposit in Texas – security deposits are one of the main sources of landlord-tenant issues hence, knowing the Texas deposit rules will enable you to avoid those conflicts such as returning the deposit in 30 days when they vacate or move out. If there is unpaid rent, the landlord may keep a part of the whole deposit by providing an itemized written accounting. Failure to follow landlord and tenant law may result in the tenant filing a lawsuit against you for small claims amounting up to $10,000.
- Providing a Habitable House – under the legal doctrine of “warranty of habitability”, a landlord has the lawful responsibility to preserve the rental unit, to repair and make it livable for the occupant. Failure to make repairs may result in the tenant doing the repairs themselves and then deduct the expenses to the rent.
- Preparing a Lease Agreement in Texas – the tenancy agreement contains all the stipulations that the parties have agreed upon including the duration of the rental property and how much the payment of rent is. Landlord-tenant disputes may arise when unlawful contents waiving the obligations of the landlord hence, having proper rental agreements saves you the trouble and headache that tenant issues may bring such as forcible entry and detainer.
- Disclosure – under the laws of Texas, landlords must disclose to tenants their legal rights and rental agreement.
- No Retaliation – pursuant to the laws of Texas, retaliatory eviction, and retaliatory acts such as raising the rent or breaking the lease in Texas are prohibited. You should keep track of your documents so you can avoid small claims and problems due to false retaliation.
- Comply with the State rules for lease termination – a landlord must follow the procedure for eviction in Texas such as giving a letter of eviction notice 3 days from nonpayment of rent before the eviction proceedings can start. Noncompliance with the rule may result in the eviction of the renters may be delayed, causing further loss to you.
Federal Regulations and Rules
Texas state laws govern most cases but there are some federal laws the Congress passed which take effect in Texas such as the lead-based paint being prohibited by the HUD and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental health reasons. Violations of discrimination and other landlord responsibilities may also fall and be punished under federal law.
Removal of Tenants in Texas
An eviction suit is the only way you can legally remove a tenant from the dwelling unit. Despite winning the eviction case, the landlord is still prohibited from taking any self-measures in removing the tenant. A judge will authorize a law officer to evict or remove the tenant from the occupied rental unit. Failure to follow the rules may result in the court refusing your eviction lawsuit.
Eviction Process in Texas
As mentioned earlier, landlords and other property managers cannot evict tenants out of the blue because it is a violation of eviction laws and their tenancy rights which may lead to illegal eviction cases. You must have valid grounds before you can terminate the rental housing the tenants leased such as non-payment of rent or violating the residential lease agreement such as when the contract prohibits pets, but the lessee disregards such prohibition. If the lessor has legal grounds to evict, he must give the tenants notice to vacate three days in advance. The lessor also does not have to give an option to the lessee to pay the rent he missed. If the tenant still refuses to give up the possession of the property despite the notice to vacate, a lawsuit for unlawful detainer may be filed to the court.
Notice of Eviction Without Cause in Texas
A landlord cannot terminate a lease agreement without just cause for a fixed tenancy. However, if the agreement is a month-to-month tenancy, the agreement may be terminated by the landlord without cause, provided that one-month advance notice of eviction letter is given to the tenant if the tenant is paying rent monthly. For tenants who pay multiple times a month, the renter will end his tenancy equivalent to the days he pays rent. For example, the lessee pays rent every 10 days. The lessor must give a notice 10 days in advance, the count beginning the following day the notice was given.
Do you need Legal Help as a Landlord in Frisco?
If you are experiencing problems in Frisco as a landlord such as the tenants not moving out of your rented personal property despite the evictions and summons sent to him or not paying you what he owed and having your rights violated, getting the help of a lawyer will be greatly beneficial to you. Here at Girling Law, our experienced attorneys in Frisco will help you with information on landlord-tenant laws in Texas. Call us now for free legal advice.