Landlords are required to provide tenants with specific information before they sign a lease. There are only a handful of these “mandatory disclosures” required by Texas state law. Most of them pertain to things that must be clearly stated in the lease agreement—like rules on parking, the owner’s contact information, and any late fees—rather than things to know about the property itself before moving in.
All U.S. landlords must follow the federal lead disclosure rule
Under federal law, landlords of properties built before 1978 must include a warning statement in leases about lead-based paint and its potential hazards. They’re also required to give tenants an informational pamphlet about lead-based paint hazards. This is the only disclosure that’s required on the national level.
Texas landlords must disclose tenant selection criteria in advance
Landlords in Texas are required to disclose certain things about the tenant screening process before gathering information about a potential tenant. All applicants must be given a written list of the landlord’s tenant selection criteria and the reasons why a rental application may be denied.1 Acceptable reasons for denial include an applicant’s criminal history, credit history, and current income. Prospective tenants must also sign an acknowledgment with specific wording, stating that they received this criteria.
Landlords must also disclose certain information in the lease
Texas landlords must provide additional information to new tenants in the lease. This includes any rules about parking, the landlord’s contact information, and more.
Contact information for property owner or manager
Potential tenants must be given the name and address of the property owner or manager who is responsible for maintaining the property.2 This information must also be written in the lease agreement. If a landlord fails to provide this information and a tenant later requests it with no response from the landlord, the tenant can take legal action3. This could result in a court order to disclose the information and financial compensation for the tenant.4
In a 2003 Texas case, the court sided with a tenant when the landlord failed to disclose the name and address of the apartment owner, despite repeated requests.5
Parking and towing rules
For properties with multiple units, landlords must provide potential tenants any relevant parking or towing rules.6 The rules can either be clearly stated in the lease, or written out TKTKT. ga given a written copy of the rules to sign or the rules should be clearly stated in the lease.
Landlords who opt to charge rent late fees must clearly state the late fee in the lease agreement.7 The late fee can’t be more than 10-12% of the monthly rent, depending on the number of units in the rental property.
Right to repairs
Potential tenants must be notified of their right to request repairs.8 The lease should contain information on the options available to tenants when landlords fail to make necessary repairs, including terminating the lease or deducting the cost of repairs from their rent payments. This information must be underlined or in bold.
Electric service interruption
At some properties, tenants pay landlords for electricity. If a tenant doesn’t pay their electric bill, landlords can interrupt service—as long as they disclose this practice in the lease.9
Written security device requests
Landlords can require that all tenant requests regarding security devices (such as deadbolts or sliding door security bars) be in writing.10 If required, this must be stated in the lease and underlined or in bold type. Otherwise, security device requests can be made orally, too.
Security deposit refund
Landlords can require tenants to give advance notice of moving out (typically at least 30 days) in order to receive a security deposit refund.11 If required, this provision must be stated in the lease in bold print or underlined.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.