Importance of Knowing Landlords-Tenants Rights
It is the first and foremost duty for every landlord and tenant to be aware of landlord-tenant laws to ascertain that the rental agreement has been prepared to adhere strictly to the law. Landlord and tenant laws emphasize on the rules meant for landlords and tenants. These rules are regarding payment of rent, proper maintenance of property, ending lease and eviction.
While renting out a property, the landlord provides the tenants with a rental agreement. A written rental agreement is better than an oral agreement as a written rental agreement proves to be valuable while resolving tenant-landlord disputes. As soon as a rental house is occupied, the landlord-tenant laws set certain terms and conditions for the landlord as well as the renter regarding the rental property. For example, if the law declares that a tenant possesses the right to privacy or quiet enjoyment, then the landlord cannot access the rental property without attempting prior notice if possible. A written rental agreement also addresses issues such as landlords not getting their rent regularly and charging late fees tenants. Therefore, awareness on landlords and tenants laws enables both landlords and tenants to abide by the legal policies to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
The objective of landlord tenant laws is to make sure that there is a healthy rapport between the tenants and the landlord throughout the tenancy period. There is a set of laws for tenant and landlords in Texas devised for landlords and tenants that have been taken from Chapter 92 of Texas Property Code.
The following points would enlighten you on some of the rental criteria followed in Texas.
1. According to the landlord-tenant laws, a landlord in Texas has the right to accept or decline a rental application owing to several reasons such as poor credit history, criminal background, past eviction cases and so on.
2. The Federal law declares that a landlord cannot reject a rental application on the basis of race, religion, sex, disability or social status.
3. Landlords have the right to charge a non-refundable application fee to meet the clerical costs, expenses pertaining to background checks, job status, reference checks and other related expenses.
4. It is the duty of the landlord to provide adequate security to the tenants by properly fencing the property and equipping the doors and windows with latches and locks. The following video would help you understand the Texas Property Code related to security devices. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWGQTcB7SAQ
5. A landlord has the right to evict a renter if the latter violates the terms and conditions mentioned in the lease, for non-payment of rent and expiry of the lease.
6. Texas Security Deposit Law states that a landlord should return a renter’s security deposit within 30 days after the renter moves out. Alternatively, a landlord should provide a written statement to the renter explaining why the security deposit (or part of it) has not be returned.
7. A tenant gets back his/her security deposit only if he/she properly maintains the rental property during the tenancy. A landlord has the right to withhold the security deposit to meet the expenses of cleaning the rental property or for fixing any damage caused by the renter.
Disputes between tenants and landlords are unavoidable and several conflicts are bound to arise during tenancy. How you tackle the disputes depends on your professionalism and awareness about your rights. It is essential for both landlords and tenants to understand their rights and duties or get the help of their respective attorneys before approaching the court for legal actions to resolve any dispute.
Ashoka Lion - About Author:
Jay Raman is the managing director of Ashoka Lion, a Houston and Dallas area property management firm Jay and his team have been in the investment property and association management business for the past 6 years and manage over 160 residential (single family home) properties in Houston and Dallas as well as several associations. To get more great articles or ideas, you can also visit Ashoka Lion’s Website, Facebook, or Twitter Account. visit: http://rental-property-management.ashokalion.com/
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