Texas Rental Lease Agreements

The Texas Rental Lease Agreements are legal forms that are completed by a landlord and tenant to legally establish the rental of a residential property. While both parties can offer input regarding the details contained within the contract, there are stipulations that are characteristic of these agreements regarding matters like the due date of rent, utilities and services, and repairs.

Landlords of rental properties in Texas should be mindful of the disclosures set out by state statutes. As there are a number of them, it is vital that they are followed in order to avoid financial or legal repercussions.

Types of Agreements

Commercial Lease Agreement Landlords seeking to lease a commercial property to a business must use a Commercial Lease Agreement to adequately outline the obligations that come with such an arrangement.

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Lease to Own Agreement If a landlord grants a tenant with permission to purchase the rental property from them, the details of this arrangement should be described in a Lease to Own Agreement.

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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement A contract that allows for a shorter-term lease of a residential property for a period of one (1) month at a time. The lease is automatically extended after this period should neither party terminate it.

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Roommate Agreement This agreement can play a substantial role in nurturing respectful behavior by roommates of a shared household.

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Standard Residential Lease Agreement  – An agreement regarding the long-term rental of a residential property that complies with landlord-tenant laws in Texas.

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Sublease Agreement A sublease can be a complex arrangement to keep track of without the use of this document. As such, all subleases should be recorded using a Sublease Agreement.

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What is a Texas Lease Agreement?

A Texas Lease Agreement is a contract created between a landlord and tenant to signify their agreement that they will uphold certain provisions related to the lease of a property. A landlord who wishes to thoroughly screen prospective tenants before entering into this contract should be sure to make use of a residential rental application.

State Definition (§ 92.001) – “means any written or oral agreement between a landlord and tenant that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, or other provisions regarding the use and occupancy of a dwelling.”

When is Rent Due?

The precise due date of rent is not stipulated by state law. As such, this should be clearly outlined in the written rent agreement. According to § 92.019, a landlord must provide a tenant with a grace period of one (1) day. That is, a landlord may only charge a late fee after the rent “has remained unpaid one full day after the date the rent was originally due.”

Landlord’s Access

Emergency: There is no state statute regarding a landlord’s right to access the property in emergency situations. However, federal law establishes the right for a landlord to access a rental property without giving notice to a tenant in emergency situations.

Non-Emergency: State law does not specify a mandatory notice period for a landlord to access the rental property in non-emergency situations. However, to be courteous, landlords should provide tenants with at least twenty-four (24) hours notice prior to entry.

Required Disclosures

  • Lead Paint Disclosure: If a landlord of a property constructed before 1978 is aware of any lead paint hazards in that property, they must inform the tenants of such hazards. Additionally, the landlord must supply the tenant with a copy of a brochure about lead-based hazards in the home.
  • Names and Addresses (§ 92.201(a)): The landlord must disclose to the tenant “the name and either a street or post office box address of the holder of record title, according to the deed records in the county clerk’s office, of the dwelling rented by the tenant or inquired about by the government official or employee acting in an official capacity.” If a management company is primarily responsible for managing the dwelling, the name and address of this company should be given instead.
  • Parking Rules (§ 92.013(a)) A landlord must provide a tenant in a multiunit complex a copy of any applicable vehicle towing or parking rules or policies of the landlord and any changes to those rules or policies.
  • Rule or Policy Changes (§ 92.013(a)): If the landlord wishes to change a rule or policy that is not included in the lease agreement and will affect any personal property owned by the tenant that is located outside the tenant’s dwelling, they are required to provide the tenant prior written notice.
  • Special Conditions to Cancel Agreement (§ 92.016): A landlord must state in the lease language that is substantially equivalent to the following: “Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving family violence or a military deployment or transfer.”
  • Tenant’s Remedies (§ 92.056(g)): A landlord must ensure a lease contains language, in underlined or bold print, that informs the tenant of the remedies available under sections § 92.056 and § 92.0561.

Security Deposit Laws

Maximum: State statute does not dictate an upper limit on the amount a landlord may charge for a security deposit.

Returning to Tenant (§ 92.103): The landlord must return a security deposit to the tenant on or before the thirtieth (30th) day after the date the tenant surrenders the premises.

Sample Template