A Texas lease agreement is a contract that grants a tenant the right to occupy a residential or commercial property. Each type of lease details the terms and conditions of renting the property, such as the monthly cost, additional fees, rules and guidelines, and state-required disclosures. The majority of lease agreements include a provision that indicates a predetermined end date to the rental term. However, some rental arrangements will guarantee tenancy for one (1) month at a time and continue until terminated by either the landlord or tenant.
Rental Application – Completed by tenants to present their personal information to a landlord and to authorize a background check.
Commercial Lease Agreement – Used by landlords when leasing property to a business for retail, industrial, or office purposes.
Rent-to-Own Agreement (Lease Option) – A rental contract that grants the tenant the right to purchase the property under specific conditions following the expiration of their tenancy.
Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – A rental arrangement with no end date that remains in effect until the lessee or lessor decides to terminate.
Roommate Agreement – Used to establish the rights and responsibilities of multiple individuals occupying the same living space.
Standard (1-year) Lease Agreement – A lease that grants a tenancy term of one (1) year to a residential occupant.
Sublease Agreement – Used by tenants who want to lease their rented space to another person. Before attempting to sublet, tenants should confer with their landlord to verify whether or not subletting is permitted.
If a property was constructed before 1978, the property owner is required to complete this disclosure.
The landlord must disclose to all tenants the name and mailing address of the record title holder for the property being rented. If an off-site management company is responsible for managing the property, the landlord must also disclose the name and mailing address of the management company.
Landlords that submeter a tenant’s electricity, or handle non-submetered master-metered electricity, may stop the electricity if the tenant doesn’t pay their electric bill. This right is only granted if it has been disclosed to the tenant in the lease and an advance written notice of the interruption is given.
A tenant has the right to terminate a lease agreement prior to the end of the lease term in the event of family violence or military deployment or transfer. The lease agreement must disclose this stipulation using language that is the equivalent to: “Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving family violence or a military deployment or transfer.”
For landlords of a multiunit complex, tenants must be given a written disclosure that familiarizes them with the parking and towing policies associated with the property. The disclosure must be made prior to the execution of a lease and it must be signed by the tenant.
- Title 8, Chapter 92 – Residential Tenancies
- Title 8, Chapter 93 – Commercial Tenancies
- Tenants’ Rights Handbook
- Landlords and Tenants Guide
General Access – No statute.
Emergency Access – No statute, although it is acceptable for the landlord to enter without notice during emergency situations (see Page 6 of the Tenants’ Rights Handbook).
Grace Period (§ 92.019 (3)) – Landlords cannot charge late fees unless a percentage of the payment remains unpaid for two (2) full days after the initial due date (notice of the fee must be stated in the written lease agreement).
Maximum Fees ($) (§ 92.019 (a-1)) – The late fee must be “reasonable,” which is considered to be not more than:
- 12% of the monthly rent for structures of four (4) units or less; or
- 10% of the monthly rent for structures that contain more than four (4) units.
The landlord may charge more than 12% or 10% if the additional charges are related to the money lost as a result of the tenant’s default of rent.
Rent Increase Notice – No statute.
Maximum Amount ($) – No statute.
Returning to Tenant (§ 92.103) – Thirty (30) days after the tenant returns possession of the property to the landlord.
Interest Required? – No statute.
Separate Bank Account? – No statute.