Investing in property can be rewarding and profitable. However, you may face many challenges as a landlord. Because of these challenges, it is vital that you consult a Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer to protect your investments.
Draft a Well Written Lease Agreement
A lease agreement is a fundamental legal contract between landlord and tenant. This contract is an important step to ensuring your landlord rights. In the State of Texas, lease agreements are allowed to be either verbal or written. However, only a written agreement will effectively secure your property. Verbal agreements are easily misinterpreted and distorted. Written agreements outline exact terms and conditions expected between both parties. Written agreements require signatures by tenant and landlord, making them legally binding.
A knowledgeable Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer will help you draft a well written landlord-friendly lease agreement. These agreements must adhere to Texas and federal law, and must include the following:
- Rent conditions and amount
- Contract information with parties’ identities
- Term of lease
- Pet deposit
- Security deposit terms and amount
- Contract breach remedies
- Eviction terms
- Provisions of termination
- Each party’s rights and responsibilities
- Subletting and assignment
- Facility and property maintenance
- Special Circumstances
Landlord’s Right to Enter
Your rights as a landlord to enter a leased property is very restricted once a tenant takes possession. The law protects tenant’s rights to privacy. Our Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer will make sure your written lease agreement gives you right of entry when it is lawful to do so. Though courts in Texas do not specify a specific amount of entry notice time a landlord must give a tenant, 24 hours serves as a good default. Your written lease can outline the following reasons for your right to enter a property:
- Requested or crucial repairs
- Emergencies that require inside access
- Showing future tenants the property
You should never enter a leased property without notice or for any other reason not outlined in the lease. Doing so can give your tenant rights to damages and release from lease.
A landlord can decide a specific amount required for a security deposit. However, that deposit must be returned within 30 days after a tenant leaves the property. The law allows you to deduct from a security deposit the following reasons:
- To cover any unpaid rent
- Cost of repair for damages over normal wear
If you deduct money for repair costs, be sure to keep complete records (pictures of damages and receipts). Should you fail to return your tenant’s security deposit in bad faith, they have a right to sue you. If a tenant serves you a bad faith claim, a Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer can help defend you.
Responsibility for Repairs
Typically both landlord and tenant are responsible for repairs. A tenant may request a repair and the landlord should follow through with it. However, if a landlord fails to make the repair, tenants can complete the repair and deduct the cost from their rent. Often, disputes arise in these situations, which can lead to litigation. An experienced Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer can defend you from wrongful tenant repair claims.
Right to Evict
You may evict a tenant for the following reasons:
- Failure to pay rent
- Breach of lease terms (for example illegal activity)
- Displays of public indecency
Contact a Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer to determine if you have a right to evict a particular tenant.
Notice to Vacate
You must properly serve your tenant a Notice to Vacate before you file an eviction action in court. Your Notice to Vacate must include:
- Date of service
- Name and address of your tenant(s)
- Reasons for issuing eviction notice
- Specific date by which your tenant must out
- Explanation stating you can file a lawsuit to evict your tenant
- Statement about how the notice was served
In the State of Texas, for situations where an eviction notice is the result of unpaid rent, you must give at least three days notice before filing an eviction in court. Consulting a Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer can ensure your eviction notice includes the required material and is served properly. Furthermore, working with a lawyer shows your commitment to moving forward with the eviction process.
Representation in Court
There may be a number of reasons a landlord ends up in court. Whether it’s tenant eviction, failure to return a security deposit or unlawful entry on premises, our knowledgeable attorneys will defend your case. Our Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer can break tenant’s stall tactics, as well as negotiate fair settlements.
Contact a Palo Pinto TX Landlord Lawyer Today
If you need help drafting a lease, completely background and financial checks on possible tenants, or getting representation in court, contact Girling Law today. Speak with a Palo Pinto TX landlord lawyer at (817) 864-8228.