Have You Bought Into a Myth or Do You Know the Facts About Renting in TX? Find Out.
Whether you’re a first-time or long-time renter, you’ve probably heard at least a few myths about renting in Texas — and it’s not always easy to discern myth from fact.
To help you tell the difference, here’s a look at some of the more common myths about renting in Texas, why they’re wrong, and what the truth actually is.
Myth #1: Texas renters can cancel leases, without penalty, within 3 days of signing them.
Fact: This is 100% false. There are no so-called “renter’s remorse” laws in Texas, and leases effectively become contracts or legally binding agreements as soon as renters sign them. Consequently, if renters cancel their leases within or outside of 3 days of signing those leases, they can face the penalties laid out in the lease agreement.
In light of this, renters in Texas are strongly encouraged to carefully and thoroughly read all leasing documents before they sign anything. It can be even better, however, to review the lease with a landlord, an apartment locator, and/or someone trusted by the renter.
Myth #2: Texas landlords can only raise my rent so much.
Fact: Unfortunately, this is untrue too. There are no laws limiting how much landlords can raise rent prices, and the laws do NOT limit when landlords can roll out rent fee increases.
In fact, if the terms of a lease give the landlord permission to increase the rent “at will” or when the landlord’s costs increase, renters could find themselves facing rent hikes well before their lease is up — and those rent hikes, as unfair as they may seem, will be likely be legal under Texas law.
Myth #3: Renters can stop paying rent or move out if the landlord doesn’t make promised repairs.
Fact: This is wrong, and believing this myth could get renters in trouble. The reality is that:
Renters will typically be obligated to continue paying their rent, according to the terms of their lease, regardless of when or how the landlord makes repairs.
If tenants want to break their lease because their landlord has failed to make necessary repairs, there is a very specific procedure those tenants must follow.
If renters simply decide that they’re going to stop paying rent or if they just move out (instead of following the procedure required by Texas law), those renters can find themselves:
- Accused of retaliating against the landlord
- Violating Texas landlord-renter laws
- Potentially liable for the landlord’s damages
Myth #4: Texas landlords have to provide a 30-day notice of eviction.
Fact: Wrong again! Texas law says that landlords only have to provide a 72-hour notice of eviction, and that timeframe could be much shorter if the lease specifies a 24-hour notice (or some other timeframe).
Notably, however, no matter how long the notice to evict may provide, landlords are not legally permitted to physically remove the renter’s possessions unless and until:
- They have an official eviction judgment from a justice of the peace court.
- They have a sheriff (or constable) present to oversee the removal of the renter’s possessions.
The Facts About Renting in Texas: The Bottom Line
When it comes to the myths about renting in Texas, the more facts you know, the better. That’s how you can gain a better understanding of your renter’s rights and how to protect them. It’s also how you can avoid rental scams while connecting with reputable landlords and other professionals, like the experienced apartment locators at Apartment Gurus.
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