At Girling Law, we understand the challenges every landlord must face. Owning property has its rewards, but it also comes with some risk. It is vital that you seek help from a Tarrant TX landlord lawyer to protect your investments.
Get Help Drafting a Well-Written Lease
Lease agreements are legally binding contracts that state the exact terms and obligations between renter and landlord. In the State of Texas, lease agreements can be either verbal or written. However, putting your agreement in writing is the only effective way to protect your best interests. Written agreements are firm, while verbal agreements can be manipulated and misconstrued.
Your Tarrant TX landlord lawyer can help you draft a well-written lease agreement that contains the following:
- Exact amount of rent due and when
- Identifies both parties
- States all the terms of the lease
- Security deposit amounts and requirements
- Pet rent and deposits
- Potential legal action if lease is breached
- Legal responsibilities of both parties
- Lease termination terms
- Grounds for eviction
- Property maintenance and upkeep
- Holdover tenant terms
Having a well-written lease will protect your rights as a landlord, and will give you piece of mind.
Your Right to Enter Rented Property
Because Texas protects tenants interests and their right to privacy, your right to enter rented out property as a landlord is severely restricted. Though the law does not specify a minimum time of notice before entry, we recommend giving 24 hours’ notice.
With the help of your Tarrant TX landlord lawyer your lease can outline instances when you can legally enter a property. Some instances your lease can outline are:
- For necessary or requested repairs
- Showing a potential tenant the property
- To inspect the property for damages
- During an emergency when entry is required
Our seasoned legal team at Girling Law advises that you never enter a leased property unless for one of the terms outlined in your lease. Unlawfully entering a property opens yourself up to civil liability and gives your tenant grounds for breaking the lease.
Establishing and Enforcing Security Deposits
Under Texas law, you can establish the amount and requirements for security deposits. You can also determine where that money is held. Keep in mind though that the law also mandates that you must return your tenants deposit within 30 days of a lease’s end date.
When appropriate, you can deduct funds from your tenant’s security deposit. Your Tarrant TX landlord lawyer can help you determine when it’s appropriate to deduct those funds. Some reasons can include:
- Covering unpaid rent
- Paying off overdue utilities
- Costs for fixing damages beyond normal wear and tear
- Costs for excessive cleaning
- Charging your tenant fees for breaking their lease
If you do deduct from your tenants security deposit, it is important that you keep detailed records. Records can include receipts, pictures, and videos. Without detailed records, your tenant can challenge your decision to keep their deposit.
If you fail to return your tenants security deposit, they can sue you for up to three times the value of the deposit, as well as any attorney’s costs and fees. Consult your Tarrant TX landlord lawyer if you’re unsure whether you can keep your tenant’s security deposit or not.
Keeping Up With Property Maintenance
Typically, landlords are responsible for keeping up with property maintenance. If you refuse to make requested or necessary repairs, your tenant is allowed to make those repairs instead. They may also deduct the cost of the repair from their rent. Often, when a tenant engages in repairing the property, disputes arise. If one of those disputes leads to litigation, our Tarrant TX landlord lawyer will help defend your interests.
When to Evict a Tenant
You can evict your tenant for the following reasons:
- Failing to pay rent
- Engaging in public indecency
- Committing acts prohibited by your lease
- Becoming a holdover tenant
If you’re looking to evict a tenant, speak with a Tarrant TX landlord lawyer to help you with the process.
Serving an Eviction Notice
Before you can legally evict a tenant, you must serve that tenant an eviction notice. Your notice must contain the following:
- Date of service
- Contact information of your tenant
- Reason for eviction
- Specific date your tenant must move out
- Your right to seek legal action for tenant removal
- Statement for how your eviction notice was served
If you’re evicting your tenant for unpaid rent, you must give them three days before filing the eviction in court. Your Tarrant TX landlord lawyer is familiar eviction notices and the entire eviction process.
Proper Representation in Court
If you’re a landlord and you ever find yourself in litigation, our Tarrant TX landlord lawyer will utilize available resources to reach a desired outcome.
Contact a Tarrant TX Landlord Lawyer Today
To understand landlord tenant laws, protect your landlord rights, and to learn more about the Texas eviction process, speak to a Tarrant TX landlord lawyer at Girling Law today.