Texas requires landlords to make the following disclosures to tenants, usually in writing and at the start of the tenancy:
Yes, nonrefundable fees are permitted. (Holmes v. Canlen Management Corp., 542 S.W.2d 199 (1976))
In the lease, other writing, or posted on the property, landlord must disclose the name and address of the property’s owner and, if an entity located off-site from the dwelling is primarily responsible for managing the dwelling, the name and street address of the management company. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.201)
If landlord wants tenant requests concerning security devices to be in writing, this requirement must be in the lease in boldface type or underlined. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.159)
A requirement that a tenant give advance notice of moving out as a condition for refunding the security deposit is effective only if the requirement is in the lease, underlined or printed in conspicuous bold print. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.103)
Victims of sexual abuse or assault on the premises may break a lease, after complying with specified procedures, without responsibility for future rent. Tenants will be responsible for any unpaid back rent, but only if the lease includes the following statement, or one substantially like it: “Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving family violence or a military deployment or transfer.” (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.016)
A lease must contain language in underlined or bold print that informs the tenant of the remedies available when the landlord fails to repair a problem that materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant. These rights include the right to repair and deduct; terminate the lease; and obtain a judicial order that the landlord make the repair, reduce the rent, pay the tenant damages (including a civil penalty), and pay the tenant’s court and attorneys’ fees. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.056)
For tenants in multiunit properties, if the landlord has vehicle towing or parking rules or policies that apply to the tenant, the landlord must give the tenant a copy of the rules or policies before the lease agreement is signed. The copy must be signed by the tenant, included in the lease or rental agreement, or be made an attachment to either. If included, the clause must be titled “ Parking” or “Parking Rules” and be capitalized, underlined, or printed in bold print.) (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.0131.)
Landlord who submeters electric service, or who allocates master metered electricity according to a prorated system, may interrupt tenant’s electricity service if tenant fails to pay the bill, but only after specific notice and according to a complex procedure. Exceptions for ill tenants and during extreme weather. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.008(h))
See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.
Also, check your local ordinance for any city or county disclosure requirements. To find yours, check your city or county website (many are listed on State and Local Government on the Net), or contact the office of your mayor, city manager, or county administrator.
Finally, see the Required Landlord Disclosures article for details on federally-required landlord disclosures and other information on disclosures about the rental property.