Learn about renters’ rights in Texas, including lease requirements, security deposits, eviction procedures, and more. Protect your rights as a tenant.
Renting is becoming increasingly popular in today’s world. And although many people rent without any problems, others may find themselves in conflict with their landlords. This may be because their apartment is not in good living conditions, their landlord is not treating them properly, or for other reasons. No matter what the situation, it’s crucial that all renters understand their rights. And since landlord-tenant law varies depending on the state, today we’re going to focus on renters’ rights in Texas.
What Are the Renters’ Rights in Texas?
In Texas, renters have certain rights under state and federal laws. Some of the key renters’ rights include:
- Fair Housing Act: This federal law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability in housing.
- Right to a habitable dwelling: Landlords are obligated to provide rental properties that are fit to live in, free from any serious health or safety hazards.
- Privacy rights: Renters have a right to privacy in their rental property, and landlords cannot enter without proper notice or consent, except in emergency situations.
- Right to return of security deposit: Landlords must return the security deposit within a reasonable time after the tenant moves out and must provide a written explanation of any deductions made from the deposit.
- Protection from retaliation: Landlords cannot retaliate against tenants for exercising their rights, such as complaining about habitability issues or filing a complaint with a government agency.
- Right to a written lease agreement: Texas law requires landlords to provide tenants with a written lease agreement.
- Right to dispute resolution: If a dispute arises between a landlord and tenant, Texas law provides for several options for resolution, including mediation and arbitration.
It’s important to note that these are just some of the key renters’ rights in Texas. And since every situation is different, we recommend consulting an attorney for a more detailed understanding of your rights as a tenant.
Can a Landlord Change the Terms of a Rental Agreement?
In Texas, a landlord can change the terms of a rental agreement, but they must follow certain procedures and give the tenant proper notice.
If the change is made during the term of a lease agreement, the landlord must provide the tenant with written notice of the change and give the tenant time to review and accept or reject the new terms. The amount of notice required depends on the specific change being made and the terms of the original lease agreement.
If the change is being made in anticipation of a renewal or new lease agreement, the landlord must give the tenant written notice of the proposed changes and provide the tenant with an opportunity to review and accept or reject the new terms before the start of the new agreement.
It’s also worth noting that some changes to a rental agreement may be illegal, such as those that violate the terms of the original lease agreement, or changes that violate state or federal laws. Before making any changes, landlords should consult with an attorney to ensure that the changes are lawful. And if you, as a tenant, don’t agree with the changes, then you should also seek legal advice.
Role of an Attorney in Tenant-Landlord Disputes
A tenant’s attorney can help resolve housing issues by providing legal representation and guidance to tenants facing challenges with their landlords. Some ways an attorney can help include advising on rights and responsibilities, negotiating with landlords, representing tenants in court, drafting and reviewing leasing agreements, challenging unlawful evictions, and seeking compensation.
At AMS Law Group, our real estate lawyers are experienced in tenant-landlord disputes. If you’re looking for legal advice or representation, give us a call for a free consultation.