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Do you need to draw up a Texas rental application form? These documents are used to learn more about a tenant before signing a lease agreement. Here, the applicant will provide the landlord with explicit consent to conduct a background check when determining their eligibility for the rental property.

In this article, we'll give you the information you need to build your Texas rental applications successfully.

Texas Rental Application

Here's what you'll need to include in your application:

  • The tenant's personal details
  • Employment and income
  • Personal preferences
  • Credit history
  • Rental history
  • Written permission for the landlord to conduct a background check

Disclosures

Texas landlords are also required to make the following disclosures in their applications:

  • The condition of the property
  • Utility payment arrangments for shared utilities
  • Smoking policy
  • Details about the security deposit
  • The presence of any environmental or health hazards
  • Rental control rules
  • Associated fees

Notice of Eligibility

After reviewing the credit report and other details, a landlord must provide the candidate with a notice detailing the screening criteria. Texas laws (TX Prop § 92.3515 (2019)) describe the requirements for this notice. We recommend including the following excerpt in this document:

"Signing this acknowledgment indicates that you have had the opportunity to review the landlord's tenant selection criteria. The tenant selection criteria may include factors such as criminal history, credit history, current income, and rental history. If you do not meet the selection criteria, or if you provide inaccurate or incomplete information, your application may be rejected, and your application fee will not be refunded."

What Not to Include

According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, the following information may not be requested in a Texas rental application form, as it can be seen as discrimination:

  • Sex
  • Nationality
  • Race
  • Color
  • Familial status
  • Religion
  • Disability

Fees

In Texas, there is no maximum amount that a landlord may charge in the form of rental application fees. Although it's advisable not to charge an excessive amount, the landlord always has the final say in how much to charge.

Moreover, landlords might require a security deposit after approving an application. Texas state law states that a landlord is permitted to request an uncapped amount as a security deposit.

This deposit is not subjected to any specific holding or receiving requirements, but the landlord shall retain meticulous records of all security deposits he or she has received.

Background Checks

There are a number of checks that you might want to do before accepting a tenant's application. We'll provide more information in the section below.

  • Criminal history check. You can check public registries to find out whether a candidate has a criminal record.
  • Credit check. By contacting a consumer reporting agency, you can learn more about the potential tenant's credit history. The consumer report you receive will either simply give you a pass or fail or provide a comprehensive list of details, including the credit inquiries the candidate has made, their employment history, and more.
  • Eviction history check. You may also check whether a prospective tenant has been evicted in the past seven years. You'll find more information about how to go about doing this in the next section.

Eviction Records

In Texas, evictions are public records, so anybody may access them. However, there isn't a single database that houses all these records, so to do this search, you will need to search for the relevant database in your county.

Alternatively, you can run a comprehensive background check using DoorLoop!

Important Laws

As per the Federal Credit Reporting Act, the candidate must grant the property owner formal written approval before the landlord can perform a credit check using the data on the supplied rental application form.

You can include a declaration of this and a signature in the application form or produce a separate consent form.

Adverse Action

Suppose you choose to take adverse action against a prospective tenant by rejecting their application, requesting a larger security deposit or rental amount, or requesting a co-signer. In that case, you'll need to issue an adverse action notice.

This notice is required, even if no issues were identified during the screening process.

Build Your Own

Do you need to create a rental application without the fuss? You can use DoorLoop's editing tool to quickly and easily generate flawless documents. Alternatively, download our free form! We have a PDF and Word version that you can use.

eSignature

It shouldn't take more than a handful of clicks to get your Texas rental applications created, customized, and eSigned.

DoorLoop makes it easy for you to save reusable lease templates and autofill a tenant's details into the right fields. Once a lease agreement is created and customized, you can request eSignatures from your new tenants in one click.

With DoorLoop, you can syndicate your listings on websites like Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Apartments.com, and others so that you can bring in prospects on autopilot.

You can also make sure you're bringing in the very best tenants by screening your prospects in seconds.

To get a closer look at DoorLoop, learn more or schedule a free demo.

Final Thoughts

Building your first rental application can be daunting if you're a new landlord. There's the application fee, disclosures, and more to think about, and if you attempt to do it on your own, you will likely feel overwhelmed.

Fortunately, you can use DoorLoop's innovative tool to generate rental applications in no time while remaining compliant. Plus, you can manage other aspects of your business, post free listings, and more with DoorLoop

To learn more or book a free demo, contact us today!

FAQs

Do landlords in Texas have a time frame to approve or reject a rental application?

No, there is no specified time limit to respond to an application.

Are tenants required to pay an application fee?

Although it is unnecessary to pay an application fee, most landlords won't even consider your application form if you don't.

The expense of the landlord's background check on a potential renter is covered by this charge. Application fees are paid upfront and are typically non-refundable. The majority of fees range from $15 to $50, but there is no upper limit.

What are the different types of Texas rental application forms?

There are two main types of applications. They are:

  • The general or standard application - this is the most commonly used document for residential leases
  • Department of Housing And Urban Development application - this application is specially designed to include details allowed under subsidized housing regulations

What can I do if a tenant takes legal action against me in Texas?

If your tenant decides to sue you, you will need to enlist the help of experienced, licensed attorneys to help defend you.

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David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!