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Rental Law For Texas

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Proper knowledge and sufficient information on rental laws in Texas will guide you to get your desired rental property in Texas. Texas housing laws are very clear in most points of tenancy rights and obligation. Before you sign on any agreement with the landlord, and give him some money you cannot claim it back. The amount is quite small and legal hassles are many. So before you sign on the dotted line check the property and the landlord.

Ask the landlord to give a written list of criterion before you sign any agreement. You will loose your application money even if the landlord rejects your application. Texas housing laws clearly mentions an exception in this front – If the landlord do not post any criterion before hand then he has to return the entire amount the has received from you. Without your application deposit or hold deposit the landlord is under no obligation to keep on hold any property for you. By giving a hold deposit you express an intention to hire the property. Remember application deposit is not application fee. Application fee is the amount you give to the landlord to carry out the background work. So it is typically not refundable.

The landlord has to provide a positive response within seven days, or else the application is ‘deemed rejected’. Although the law do not specify the number of days within which the ‘hold deposit’ or ‘application deposit’ has to be returned, but most agreements has a thirty days time limit for the landlord. However, the land law in Texas is not clear what happens if you change your mind. Generally, you are expected to sign the rent agreement within three days of the landlord’s approval. If you change your mind then the landlord can forfeit any application deposit. So, enter this clause in your agreement before hand.

If you think, that the landlord has kept your application deposit in an unfair manner, then tell him in writing why you consider it to be in ‘bad faith’. Under, land laws in Texas you are entitled to $ 100 or three times application deposit, court fees and attorney fees. In Texas Rent laws eviction is also called “forcible entry and detainer” or “forcible detainer” they are generally filed on the Justice the peace or J. P. Court. To evict the tenant the landlord must prove that he has violated the terms of the agreement or not moved on after the landlord has not renewed the tenancy agreement. The landlord must give a proper notice to the tenant before moving court for eviction. In case of non-payment of rent you can plead hardships like loss of job, being in hospital etc. who ever loose has five days to appeal to a higher court.