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What to Include in Your Lubbock TX Rental Agreement

what-include-lubbock-texas-rental-agreementFirst and foremost, congratulations on becoming a landlord! By becoming a landlord, you may be able to experience a range of benefits as well as increase your income if the venture is carried out correctly.

To safeguard your Lubbock rental investment from potential tenant trouble, smart landlords know the best way to safeguard their investment is by drafting a solid lease agreement. Although standard lease agreements are a good starting point, not all include all the necessary terms they should for adequate future protection and security.

And while you are not seeking a complex document, there are some important terms that your lease agreement should include. A properly drafted lease agreement is an asset not only to you but also your tenant.

Important Items Your Lubbock Lease or Rental Agreement Should Address:

1.   Tenants’ Names

You must list the names of all adults, whether single or married, living in your rental property as a renter. Before they move in, ensure that all have signed the lease agreement. By doing this, you make all of them accountable for all terms of the lease for your Lubbock rental property. This means, for instance, that you can seek rent from any of them legally should the others fail to pay up. You could also end their tenancy should any of them seriously violate any terms of the lease.

2.   Tenancy Term

As a  Lubbock landlord, you should know the difference between a lease and a rental agreement. Some tenants may just be in-between the remodeling or awaiting a job relocation. Usually, rental agreements are shorter and run month-to-month. Choose it if you want some flexibility and control. On the other hand, leases are long-term and usually last a year. Choose a lease over a rental agreement if you want some level of security. For the landlord, the primary comfort is that renters cannot vacate the property without fulfilling all lease terms.

3.   Rent

Your rental or lease agreement should clearly indicate important details about rent. For example, how much, when it is due, and how it is to be paid. To avoid confusion, ensure you also include the following details:

  • The payment methods accepted. For instance, online, by mail, or through a drop-off location.
  • Penalties on late fees. You should also state the fee as well as when it comes into effect. Do you offer a grace period?
  • Penalties in case the check bounces.


4.   Occupancy Limits

Make sure that your lease or rental agreement expressly specifies who the renters are. It should clearly state that only the tenants who signed the lease and their children are allowed in the Lubbock rental unit. This not only ensures that the occupants are qualified but also limits the number of occupants. Unauthorized tenants can get your property into dire trouble. With occupancy limits defined, you’ll have the right to evict a renter if they keep unauthorized guests.

5.   Maintenance and Repairs

Set out the responsibilities of both you and your tenant regarding repair and maintenance of the lease or rental agreement. This helps prevent rent-withholding hassles and other problems. As a guide, the renter responsibilities should include:

  • Restrictions on tenant repair an alterations. For example, painting walls, installing systems or adding such things as a built-in dishwasher.
  • Keeping the rental property in clean and in a sanitary condition.
  • Alerting you of defective or dangerous conditions in the rental property.

6.   Deposit and Fees

Conflicts between tenants and landlords are common. To avoid future conflicts, make sure that your Lubbock rental property is clear on some important details. Specifically, it should state:

  • The security deposit amount. This is the dollar amount of the security deposit. In setting the amount, make sure you comply with state and local laws.
  • Any legal non-refundable fees. For example, those for cleaning or pets.
  • How you may store the security deposit. Will it be on an interest-bearing or non-interest bearing account?
  • How you may use the deposit. For instance, will it be used for damage repair.
  • How and when you will return the security deposit amount.


7.   Landlord Entry

Your Texas lease or rental agreement should clarify your legal right to enter a renter’s rental unit. However, entry times must be reasonable. This is because even as a landlord, you can’t simply enter a tenant’s rental unit as you please. Besides clarifying your legal right to enter the rental unit, you should also state the amount of notice you’ll provide before entering. Texas rental laws require that landlords give tenants at least a 24 hours’ notice.

8.   Pet Policy

Be clear on whether your lease allows or prohibits pets. If you do allow pets, you should make sure that you state any special restrictions. For instance, the number or size of the pets. Other restrictions can include the types of pets allowed. Common types of pets include dogs, cats, birds, potbellied pigs, rabbits, and rodents.


9.   Tenant Activity Restrictions

Include an explicit clause prohibiting disruptive behavior to prevent property damage or trouble among your tenants. An example of a disruptive behavior is excessive noise. Also, remember to include another clause that prohibits illegal activity, such as drug dealing.

10.  Additional Restrictions

Make sure that your Lubbock, Texas lease obeys all relevant Texas landlord-tenant laws. Examples of these laws include anti-discriminatory laws, rent control ordinances, occupancy rules and safety or health codes. State laws are especially important because they may set some rules and limits. For example, on security deposit amounts, on subletting, on notice requirements for landlord entry, and rules for changing or ending a tenancy. Any other rules covering the use of common areas and parking should also be included in your lease or rental agreement. Also, you should spell out the limits on the type of home-based business renters may engage in the premises.

In Conclusion

To prevent property damage, avoid trouble among your renters and limit your exposure to lawsuits, a properly drafted lease or rental agreement is necessary. Use this article as a guide when drafting your Lubbock, TX rental agreement. You’ll be glad you did.

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