Most of the laws relevant to a leased apartment in Texas can be found in Title 8, Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code. Subchapter A tells us that a tenant is anyone who is authorized by a lease—written or oral—to occupy a dwelling to the exclusion of others.
Texas handles this differently from many other states, which have guests become tenants after they live somewhere for a set amount of days. In Texas, whether someone is a guest or a tenant is determined more organically. The key things to ask are:
- Did the person contribute to household expenses?
- Did they use the apartment as their mailing address?
- Did they remain in the apartment continuously, or spend time elsewhere?
- Most importantly, did the guest pay rent?
Texas attorneys recommend ensuring that any guests who are staying for an extended period of time sign a letter stating that they are, in fact, a guest. It's also wise to not accept money on a regularly scheduled basis from a real guest.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.