Texas Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines

A breakdown of Texas landlord-tenant laws on security deposits.

Most residential leases and rental agreements in Texas require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying rent. Here's a summary of Texas landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.

Does Texas law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?

No. In Texas, there's no statutory limit on security deposits at the state level, but check your city and county laws to see if there's a local cap on security deposits for residential rentals.

To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.

What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Texas for returning a security deposit?

Under Texas law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has moved out. If a landlord wants to condition the security deposit refund on the tenant's giving advance notice of surrender, the landlord must put this condition in the lease or rental agreement, and it must be either underlined or printed in conspicuous bold print. (Tex. Prop. Code Ann. § 92.103.)

Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Deducting Cleaning and Repairs Costs From a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.

Is there additional information that Texas landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Texas?

Not at the state level. But be sure to check your local (county, city, or town) laws to see if there are additional security deposit requirements.

Where can I look up Texas law on security deposits?

If you want to go right to the source and look up Texas law on security deposits—or if you're writing a security deposit demand letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law—the relevant statute(s) can be found at Texas Property Code Annotated §§ 92.101 to 92.110. To access your state law, check out the Library of Congress's legal research site.

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