Most Commonly Used Texas Lease Agreement
In Texas, the most commonly used lease agreements include commercial leases, month-to-month lease agreement, a standard residential lease agreement, and a sublease agreement.
While the most commonly used Texas lease agreements rely on the same elements, they still have their own unique features. Here are a couple of examples.
- A roommate agreement is a type of residential lease. It explains which areas of the rental are for the exclusive use of the roommate and which areas may be used by all residents.
- A standard residential lease agreement is usually written for a term of one year. When that year ends, the lease may convert to a month-to-month lease or it may renew for another year. However, both a standard residential lease and a month-to-month lease have many similarities. The most common similarity is the requirement of a written 30-day notice to move out at the end of the lease term if one of the parties doesn’t plan to renew the agreement.
How to Write a Texas Lease Agreement
Texas lease agreements must comply with Texas landlord-tenant laws or the agreements cannot be enforced in court. There are additional laws that must be considered. You’ll learn more about a few of those under the sections related to disclosures and security deposits.
Before you sign a Texas lease agreement, read the terms carefully or have it reviewed by an attorney.
A Texas lease agreement should include:
Names of the Parties - This includes the landlord’s legal name or the legal business name of the property management company as well as the legal name of the tenant(s).
Property Address - This is the complete street address for the rental property. It should include the city, zip code, and, if there is one, the unit number or lot number.
Term Information - This is the type of lease agreement that the parties agree to enter into. For example, a month-to-month lease or a fixed term. A fixed-term lease means that the parties agree that the tenant will hold possession of the space for a certain amount of time, usually one year. If it is a fixed lease, this section should include the date that lease will end.
Rental Amount - This section includes the date that the lease will begin, the amount of the monthly rent, the day of the month that rent is due, and the address where the rent may be paid.
Late Fee - This section documents the amount of the fee that is due if the rent is not paid by a certain date.
Security Deposit - This is the amount of money that must be paid in advance of the tenant taking control of the property. A security deposit is used to repair damages caused by the tenant.
Initial Payment - This is the total amount of money that the tenant must pay to move into the rental property or unit. This should include the amount of the first month’s rent, the security deposit, and the total of the two numbers added together.
Occupants - This section includes the full name of each tenant even if they are a minor or are not signing the lease. This part of Texas residential lease agreement establishes who will reside in the residential unit. For commercial space leases, it designates those who have permission to use the space. If the presence of additional occupants changes the price of the rent, it should be included in this section.
Utilities - This section explains which utilities or services a tenant does not have to pay.
Parking - This section informs the tenant if they will receive a parking space. If a parking space is reserved and there is a designated spot, the spot should be listed in this section.
Furnishings - This section tells tenants what they are allowed to install (such as a washing machine or dishwasher) or what they may not install. If the tenant is not allowed to bring their own appliances, that should be designated in this section.
Notices - This section documents the names of the landlord or property manager and the tenant along with their mailing address. This contact information is used if the parties need to send out a notice to the other party.
Eviction - This informs tenants how eviction would be carried out in the event of nonpayment or breach of other lease terms.
Additional Terms - This section lists any other terms that the parties agreed to that haven’t been included in any other section of the lease agreement.
Signature and Date - The document should be signed and dated by all parties.
Which Disclosures Belong in a Texas Lease Agreement?
The State of Texas requires certain disclosures in a Texas lease agreement. You must identify the agent or the owner of the property. This means that you must list the person who is listed on the deed of record for the property as well as list their address. You also need to include the name of any agent (such as a property manager) along with their address.
A Texas lease agreement must include a disclosure on parking rules. This disclosure must be extremely easy to see. You can designate this section by using the title 'PARKING RULES' (note that the letters are all capitalized). This area explains towing policies and the tenant's right to have vehicles on the property.
The document must include any special conditions to cancel the agreement. The specific language that must be included in this disclosure, under Texas law, is "Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving family violence or a military deployment or transfer."
The last disclosure that must be included in a Texas lease agreement is a section that explains a tenant's remedies. This disclosure explains to the tenant what rights they have if the landlord is unable to complete repairs within a seven-day time period. Make sure that this disclosure is in bold or that it is underlined.
Under federal law, any residential unit built before 1978 requires the owner of the property to inform their tenant or potential tenant that there could have been lead paint used at some point on the walls and ceilings.
What You Need to Know About Texas Lease Agreement Deposits
Under Texas law, there is no limit on how much money a landlord may request as a security deposit. However, the landlord must return the funds within 30 days of the tenant vacating the property.