Texas Residential Lease Agreement Form
A Texas residential lease agreement form is a standard document that a landlord provides a tenant for the rent of their property. The document indicates the terms of the lease, such as the rent, when it is due, and all parameters by which the continued stay will be allowed.
This is an essential document for the landlord and tenant alike because it serves as their contract throughout the lease term. It must be signed by both parties, and their personal information should be on the document.
Other vital provisions that must be included in the form are rules on parking and the particular conditions that would merit the cancellation of the agreement. There are also relevant state and federal laws that mandate what must be included in the agreement form, such as required disclosures.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure - Federal law requires landlords to disclose if the property was built before 1978. Lead-based paint was banned in the U.S. that year, and tenants must be informed of this before signing the agreement (Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule (Section 1018 of Title X)).
Criteria for Tenant Selection - Texas landlords must communicate the tenant selection process before the background check. Applicants should receive a simple one-page document that lists the criteria used to select a tenant and the reasons why tenancy could be denied.
Contact Information of Property Owner - It is the right of the tenant to know the name and address of the property owner or manager of the property. In Texas, the tenant could sue the landlord if this information is left blank in the lease agreement form.
Parking Rules - If the rental property has multiple units, the landlord must provide tenants (or potential tenants) with the relevant regulations regarding parking and towing in the area.
Late Fees - For landlords that charge a late fee on rent, the provision should be stated clearly on one page of the agreement. The late fee should not be more than 10% to 12% of the monthly rent.
Right to Repairs - Tenants must be informed of their right to request repair for any damage to the property. The lease agreement should include options if the landlord fails to heed a request, such as deduction of repair costs and termination of lease (TX Prop § 92.052).
Utility Interruption - Under some rental agreements, tenants pay landlords for all the utilities. If the tenant fails to pay the agreed amount, the landlord has the right to interrupt the service.
Requests for Security Devices - Tenants can request security devices such as security bars or deadbolts. This can be included as a provision in the lease agreement form.
Rent Grace Period - Texas has a legal grace period of just one day. So, if a day has passed and the tenant has not paid their monthly rent, a 10% to 12% late fee is charged.
Security Deposit Laws
Texas law does not limit how much a landlord can charge as a security deposit. However, some cities have their own regulations regarding this.
Landlords must refund the security deposit on or before the 30th day after the tenant has moved out of the property.
A landlord could also require the tenant to provide 30-day advance notice of their move-out date, but this should be included in the lease agreement (TX Prop § 92 (2021)).