People rent property all the time. Rental property can be commercial or residential. While renting a property, it is necessary to understand that you are entering into a lease agreement with the lessor of the said property.
As in many cases, an agreement entails several terms and conditions that the parties involved have to uphold to honor the agreement. Failure to uphold the terms and conditions detailed in this agreement may lead to the agreement being terminated.
What is the Texas Lease Agreement?
A Texas Lease Agreement is a binding document between a landlord and a tenant, written per Texas's landlord-tenant laws. The landlord agrees to rent their commercial (check the Texas commercial lease agreement) or residential property to a tenant for a fee, and the tenant agrees to the lease agreement's terms and conditions.
What to Include in a Texas Residential Lease Agreement?
A Texas Residential Lease Agreement, just like any other residential lease agreement, is required by law to include specific elements. This ensures that both the landlord's and the tenant's rights are protected.
These elements include:
The first thing to include in a Texas Residential Lease Agreement is the personal information of all the adults that will be living in the rental property. Including them in the signed lease agreement makes the contract binding to all and all are legally responsible for the terms and conditions of the residential lease.
Address of the Rental Premises
A Texas Residential Lease Agreement should state the address of the property that is to be rented by the tenant.
Rules on Rent
Clearly state the amount of rent to be paid and your policies regarding rent and late payment. These policies should clearly state the amount of rent to be paid, when to pay rent, acceptable modes of payment, the amount charged for late payment, and when to charge late fees.
You may impose a late fee if the rent remains unpaid for at least two days after it was due. You are allowed to charge an initial fee, followed by subsequent daily fees. Making these policies known beforehand will encourage your tenants to pay on time.
Every landlord in Texas, like in most states, adheres to strict guidelines as to when and how to return security deposits. According to the Texas landlord-tenant law, landlords must:
- Include reasons that can make them withhold part or all of the tenant’s security deposit.
- Provide a written checklist detailing the condition of the property. Failure to do this might cause the tenant to be entitled to the full security deposit.
- Store a tenant's security deposit with an escrow agent, a state or national financial institution, or in a trust account.
- Provide a security deposit receipt to the tenant after collecting and depositing the security deposit.
- Not make a tenant's security deposit non-refundable. Non-refundable deposits such as pet deposits must be charged separately.
- Return the tenant’s security deposit within 14 days after the tenant has vacated.
How Can I Make a Texas Lease and Rental Agreement?
With the basic elements discussed above, you can now proceed to make your lease agreement for your tenants.
First, you need to collect the tenant information for all the adults who will be staying on the property. Fill out this information including the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all the adults who will sign the agreement.
Fill out the contact information of the landlord or agent complete with the address for receiving important notices. Other occupants such as minors and the elderly can also be documented to ensure that all the occupants are known.
Next, fill out the information about the rental property in question. Include information such as the address, its condition, and any furniture or fixtures included at the property.
State the amount of rent to be paid and conditions around the amount of rent to be paid, when to pay rent, acceptable modes of payment, amount charged for late payment, and when to charge late fees.
Indicate the terms of the lease. Lease terms outline the type and length of the lease, the ramifications if the tenant breaks the lease and the circumstances under which your tenant may leave early.
Make sure your rental lease agreement spells out the conditions of termination. Does it have a set end date, or is there an option to continue month to month? As the end date approaches, you'll want to ask your tenant if they would like to renew the lease. A Texas lease termination letter or Notice to Vacate is a required document to end month-to-month lease agreements in Texas. State law requires giving at least 30-day notice to vacate. State law, however, does not require notice to be given to end fixed-term lease agreements on their end date.
You should include clear policies about what actions violate the lease agreement, and be sure to follow eviction laws in your area should you ever need to evict a tenant.
The Texas Residential Lease Agreement follows a specific format and therefore one needs to know of the mandatory requirements when preparing a lease agreement for their property.