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What Is a Texas Month-to-Month Lease Agreement?

A Texas month-to-month lease agreement is a short-term rental agreement between a landlord and a tenant to create what is essentially an at-will tenancy. The agreement between the landlord and tenant renews at the beginning of each month. It can last indefinitely. They are very flexible, but month-to-month rental agreements must comply with Texas laws. A month-to-month lease agreement may also be referred to as a residential lease agreement.

These short-term Texas rental agreements should include all of the same clauses that are found in 12-month lease agreements. Examples include information about the security deposit amount for the rental property, the amount of the monthly rent, how and when the monthly rent should be paid, late fees, occupancy, parking policy, eviction information, subletting the month to month tenancy, notice period information, and how written notices should be provided.

What Laws Apply to Texas Month-to-Month Lease Agreements?

Section 92.001 of the Texas Property Code governs month-to-month lease agreements. However, it is crucial to note that this state law is not specifically referred to as landlord-tenant law. In fact, none of the state laws are referred to as such.

Under Section 92.103, a landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant no later than 30 days after the renter leaves the rental unit. The landlord can use some or all of the security deposit because of damages or cover other charges listed in the lease, such as if the month's rent is unpaid, as long as the landlord also provides the renter with a written statement. The remainder of the security deposit and this list must be sent to the tenant’s forwarding address after they vacate according to Section 92.107.

Landlords and property managers should ensure that they understand the Property Code in the State of Texas before drafting month-to-month or fixed-term rental lease agreements with their lessors to protect their interests in the residential property.

Terminating a Texas Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

To terminate a Texas month-to-month lease agreement, the parties must first consult the rental agreement according to Section 91.001 of the state law. The party wishing to provide written notice for lease termination may either use the end date of the lease term stated in the notice or:

  • For rental periods of at least one month, they must provide a minimum termination notice that is a 30 day notice period after the day the notice is given.
  • For rental periods of less than one month, “the day following the expiration of the period beginning on the day on which notice is given and extending for a number of days equal to the number of days in the rent-paying period” is the number of days for the notice period.

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