Who is a landlord? A landlord is someone who owns the property and rents it to others. A landlord has numerous duties and responsibilities when renting to tenants. Landlords have to deal with everything from management issues to dealing with bad tenants. There are even some legal issues unique to landlords that only a real estate lawyer can help you out with. We will discuss some of those duties and discuss why having a Frisco landlord attorney on your side is very important.
What is the Landlord-Tenant Law in Texas?
Texas landlord-tenant law is a collection of statutes that govern landlord-tenant relationships. This collection of laws regulates the amount of rent that a landlord may charge, the amount of the security deposit and when it must be returned when a tenant vacates the property, as well as the obligations put on a tenant during their lease.
According to Texas law, landlords are required to offer particular information to renters prior to signing the lease. They include the following:
- The use of lead-based paint is disclosed. You are required by federal law to inform your renter about the use of lead-based paint and the associated health risks. This is necessary if the rental unit was constructed before 1978.
- Your tenant selection criteria must be made public. You must share specific facts about your tenant selection procedure prior to screening a renter. You must specifically inform them of your tenant qualification standards and the reasons their application may be denied. Acceptable grounds for denial include a relevant criminal history and a poor credit score.
- Certain information is disclosed in the lease. You must disclose extra information to the renter, such as security deposit refunds, interruption of electric service, right to repairs, late fines, and parking and towing laws.
- Utility disclosure. If you agree to supply and pay for gas, water, or electric services, you accept responsibility for any resulting difficulties.
The lease agreement is one of the most crucial contracts in a landlord-tenant relationship. The lease is a legally binding document outlining the obligations that both the landlord and the tenant undertake to respect. In addition to specifics such as amenities, renovations, and other apartment characteristics, the lease contains legal information such as:
- The monthly rent and payment plan.
- The amount of the security deposit and what it covers.
- There is a pet policy.
- Policy and procedures for repairs.
- Roommate and visitor policies
Landlord Responsibility and Rights in Texas
Your Texas landlord-tenant act establishes landlord obligations and rights with respect to rental properties and renters.
These are the essential landlord rights in Texas.
A landlord in Texas may:
- be given at least one month’s notice when the tenant chooses to move out
- enter the unit without notice in an emergency,
In Texas, these are the basic responsibilities of a landlord.
Landlords must do the following:
- Make the apartment safe and comfortable for the renters in accordance with the Texas Property Code. It is your responsibility to address any problems that arise in the unit.
- Comply with the Fair Housing Act. It is a landlord’s obligation to be aware of the protected classes.
- Inform renters about the required disclosures.
- Wait at least two days before imposing a late charge for the tenant’s failure to pay rent on time.
Texas Renters’ Rights and Responsibilities
According to Texas law, renters in Texas have the following rights. The ability to:
- Remain in their rental home until the landlord has completed the eviction process.
- Live in a house that complies with fundamental safety, health, and construction requirements.
- Enjoy the property in peace and quiet, free of unwanted annoyances.
- When their Texas landlord wants to amend the terms of the written lease agreement, they must be issued with a notice.
- Request that repairs be completed within a reasonable time frame.
Your renters must also respect certain duties, which include:
- Following all of the provisions of the lease agreement. For example, refrain from unlawfully renting a room in the flat or exceeding the rental limit.
- Taking care of the unit.
- Alerting the landlord of their planned absence.
- Notifying the landlord when there is a problem with the property’s maintenance.
- Keeping the noise to a minimum.
- When planning to move out of an apartment, provide sufficient notice to the landlord.
Texas Housing Discrimination Laws
A landlord is required by the Fair Housing Act to prevent discrimination against the seven protected groups:
- Color or race
- National origin
- Family status
As long as the renter can pay the rent and pass routine tenant screening processes, they should not be denied equal treatment or rental possibilities because they belong to a protected class.
Texas Eviction Laws
You have the right to evict your renter if they violate the conditions of the lease/rental agreement. In Texas, the following are examples of common violations:
- Failure to pay rent
- Excessive wear and tear on the rental
- Causing annoyance to their neighbors
- Not relocating once the lease term has expired
Property owners must follow the state’s lawful eviction procedure when evicting a renter. The eviction, for example, must not be motivated by discrimination or retaliation.
Furthermore, as the landlord, you are not permitted to utilize “self-help” eviction techniques, such as locking your renter out or taking their personal things from the property. These are illegitimate eviction methods.
Seek Legal Assistance from a Texas Attorney
In most cases, landlords manage their properties on their own or with the help of a property manager. However, there may be times when a landlord must go to court to address issues with tenants. For example, a tenant may refuse to pay rent or may damage property and refuse to pay for repairs. In these situations and others, landlords need representation from an experienced attorney who can protect their rights.
Speak to an Experienced Dallas Fort Worth Landlord Lawyer Today!
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant – you need the right advice. Whether you are faced with a major legal problem, or just have a routine legal question, you need to see someone who knows the law. Landlords and tenants often feel they can’t afford to consult a lot of attorneys; however, your solving these legal problems can impact your income and savings forever. Save yourself thousands of dollars in avoided losses – it’s well worth it to hire an experienced Fort Worth landlord lawyer.
Contact us today and speak to one of our compassionate attorneys at Girling Law Firm, PLLC about your situation. Together, we can develop an effective legal strategy for your landlord-tenant issues.