Skip to Content

Overview of the Texas Rental Laws

The Landlord-Tenant Laws guide the relationship between landlords and tenants in Texas. Both landlords and renters should have an easy time dealing with the many legal problems and questions once they understand them.

At Real PM Services, we believe it is important to have a good understanding of the Texas Rental laws whether you are an owner or a tenant of a rental property. So, below is an overview of the landlord-tenant laws in Texas.


1.   The Texas Fair Housing Laws


The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing. Examples of discriminatory practices are:

  • Being steered to properties, buildings, or units on one side of a complex based solely on factors related to a person’s characteristics.
  • A refusal to make reasonable accommodations for a person with disabilities.
  • Harassment or intimidation such as verbal threats, vandalism, or unwanted sexual advances.
  • Advertising that indicates a limitation or preference based on a particular class of people.
  • Requiring different terms or conditions based on a class of persons.
  • Lying about or misrepresenting the availability of housing when the housing is available.

Under the law, Texas apartment dwellers have a right to enjoy their housing without being discriminated because of their:

Familial Status


  • A landlord cannot deem a property as “adults only.” They also cannot refuse to sell or rent to families with children.
  • Disability may include illnesses such as alcoholism, HIV or AIDS, mental illness, chronic illness, among others.
  • Landlords are prohibited from considering the tenant’s sex when making decisions about their housing.
National Origin
  • Landlords shouldn’t consider where your family is born when it comes to making their decision to rent or sell their property.
  • A renters’ religion shouldn’t be used to give preferential treatment to a renter. It should also not be used as a requirement to be considered for a property.
  • A person’s color shouldn’t play any role in a person’s ability to have access to housing.
  • Race shouldn’t play a part when it comes to deciding a tenant housing.


2.   Texas Required Landlord Disclosures

According to the law in Texas, the following are the disclosures that landlords need to make to renters:

Return for security deposit
  • Texas tenants must give advance notice of surrender as a condition for getting back their security deposit. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §â)


Electric service interruption
  • A landlord who allocated master metered electricity, or who submeters electric service, may interrupt a renters’ electricity service if the renter fails to pay the bill. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §92.008(h))


Landlord’s towing or parking policies
  • The landlord must give the tenant a copy of the rules or policies before the signing of a lease agreement.
  • This is assuming the landlord has a vehicle towing or parking rules and the tenant lives in a multi-unit property. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §92.0131.)


Tenant’s rights in Texas for repairs
  • These rights include the right to terminate the lease; to repair and deduct; and obtain a judicial order that the landlord pay the tenant damages, reduce the rent, make the repair, and pay the tenant’s attorney and court fees. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §92.056)


Domestic violence victim’s rights
  • Victims of sexual abuse or assault on the premises may break a lease in Texas, after complying with specified procedures without responsibility for future rent. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §92.016)
Security device requests
  • If a landlord wants renter requests concerning security devices to be in writing, this requirement must be in the lease in boldface type or underlined. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. 92.159)
Owner or agent identity
  • In the lease, either written or posted on the property, the landlord must disclose the name and address of the property’s owner. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. §92.201)


3.   Texas Landlords’ Responsibilities


Successful landlords in Texas know the importance of staying on top of landlord-tenant law. They follow state rules governing security deposits, maintain their rental properties, and choose tenants in a nondiscriminatory way.

Here are top Texas landlords’ responsibilities:

  • Follow exact procedures for terminating a tenancy
  • Don’t retaliate against a Texas renter who exercises their legal rights
  • Make legally required disclosures
  • Prepare a legally written lease or rental agreement
  • Provide habitable housing
  • Meet state security deposit limits and return rules
  • Follow state rent rules
  • Comply with anti-discriminatory laws


4.   Texas Tenant Rights

According to the Texas Attorney General, Texas tenants are entitled to the following rights:

  • The right to security in their home. Some basic security measures may include deadbolts on exterior doors and working window latches.
  • The right to health and safety in their homes. The landlord has an obligation to repair any condition that can negatively affect a tenant’s health or safety.
  • The right to “quiet enjoyment” of their home. This means the landlord cannot disturb a tenant’s right to live in peace and quiet. The landlord also cannot evict a tenant without proper cause.


5.   Texas Security Deposit Laws

The majority of leases make a security deposit necessary. A security deposit helps cushion a landlord against the financial blow if a renter skips out early on the lease. It also helps cover property damage that is as a result of a tenant’s negligence or carelessness.

Below is a summary of the Texas laws on Security Deposits:

  • Texas landlords are required to return a tenant’s security deposit within thirty days after the tenant has moved out. The Texas renter must first write a notice of their intention to surrender the rental unit.
  • There is no statutory limit on security deposits, at least at the state level. The laws may, however, be available at the city and/or county level.


6.   Landlord Retaliation in Texas

Disputes between landlords and renters aren’t unusual. Texas’ landlord-tenant law protects its tenants from retaliation by their landlord. Common reasons for a landlord retaliation include:

  • A renter joins a Texas tenant’s union
  • A tenant has organized the other tenants in the building to protest against an issue, such as rent increase
  • A tenant withholds rent until an issue is fixed
  • A renter calls the building department to complain. The renter may, for example, complain about a faulty banister on the stairs.
  • A renter complains to the health department. For instance, the renter may complain about mold in the bathroom.

Examples of acts that may be deemed retaliatory include:

  • Making the renter’s stay unpleasant. For example, the landlord may block the tenant’s access to a parking spot, restrict a tenant access to a previous common washer or refuse to make repairs to the tenant’s unit.
  • Not renewing the renter’s lease.
  • Threatening or harassing the tenant.
  • Increasing rent.
  • Terminating the tenant’s lease.
  • Filing an eviction proceeding.
  • Depriving the tenant of use of the premises.

Generally, the landlord is considered to be engaging in retaliation if he engages in any of these retaliatory acts within six months.


7.   Landlord’s Right to Entry in Texas Rentalssilver-keys

Inevitably during a tenancy, the landlord will need to enter the rental unit for either emergency or non-emergency repairs or maintenance. Unlike other states, there is no state legislation that regulates a landlord’s access to a rented dwelling in Texas. As such, the landlord entry rights are defined in terms of a lease.

Generally, landlords can only access a renters’ rental unit under specific circumstances such as:

  • To show the apartment to prospective renters
  • To investigate potential lease violations
  • During an emergency
  • If the tenant invites the landlord in or asks them to enter the apartment
  • To inspect the property for damage


This information is intended for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for legal advice. Seek professional advice from a qualified attorney should you need more clarification and how best to move forward.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details