Leasing rental properties can be a stressful task. There are so many laws to note. Each state in the US establishes its own laws and rules governing tenancies. Moreover, every state has specific rent laws designed to apply to different types of residences.
However, neither rent control nor stabilization legislation exists in Texas. Instead, rent increases may be controlled by exclusions, lease clauses, and other provisions. To ensure you are compliant, let's take a closer look at Texas rent control laws.
Texas Rent Increases
Landlords in Texas are free to increase the rent as much as they like because there are no regulations regulating rent stabilization or control. Having said that, you must wait until the current lease expires if you and your tenant have a fixed-term written lease agreement in place to change the rent amount.
You are allowed to charge your renter whatever amount you like if you have a month-to-month lease with a shorter lease term. To increase the rent, all you would need to do is provide your renter 30 days' notice in writing.
While there are no explicit Texas rent increase laws, there are certain exceptions where rent regulation may apply.
Texas's rent stabilization laws can be justified in specific special circumstances. Municipalities are permitted to enact rent control laws under specific circumstances, as stated in Section 214.902 of the state's Property Code.
This is especially true during a catastrophe such as an oil spill or a natural disaster such as a flood, an earthquake, a fire, a hurricane, or a global pandemic.
When Is It Illegal?
There are certain cases where increasing rent in Texas might be against the law. A rent increase can become unlawful in one of three situations: before the present lease expires, when it's done in a discriminatory manner, or when it's done in retribution.
Rent Hikes Intended to Discriminate Against the Tenant
All landlords must follow Texas Fair Housing Laws in Texas. In essence, the legislation forbids discrimination against people based on a protected class recognized by the state. Race, nationality, color, disability, religion, familial status, age, and sex are among the protected categories.
It's also illegal to increase rent in retaliation for something the renter does. Imposing an increase when following the tenant requesting repairs or reporting the property for a health and safety threat is considered retaliatory behavior.
The price hike is considered unlawful if the rent increase occurs within six months of an event that might prompt retaliation.
This is considered an infringement of their legal rights. Tenants are legally entitled to:
- Inform a government body about the poor living conditions on the premises, including the fire department, the health inspection office, or a building inspector.
- Utilize their right to sign up for a tenant union.
- Not pay rent if the landlord hasn't complied with their demands for repairs.
Texas law does not stipulate a set notice period before a rent increase, in contrast to the majority of other states.
Nevertheless, the law demands that both parties to a contract operate in good faith, which means that a landlord should provide the renter adequate notice when raising rent even though there is no specification for a notice period.
If you run a rental business, it's important to adhere to Texas law. Among security deposit, landlord-tenant, and eviction laws are Texas rent increase laws. While there are no rent control limits applied in the state, there are exceptions that may be imposed by local governments.
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Suppose you need help drawing up a lease agreement or creating a rent increase notice. In that case, you can download our free forms.
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- Landlord-tenant issues and laws
- Grounds to evict a tenant
- Eviction process
- Preventing delays or fines
- Hiring an Attorney vs DIY
- Post COVID legal changes
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Does the state of Texas have a rent control law?
No, Texas does not have rent control regulations that cap the rent that landlords may charge. According to state law, local governments are not allowed to enact rent control measures of their own unless a housing emergency exists and the governor has given his approval.
Can a landlord raise rent several times per year?
Landlords are free to impose a rent increase anytime they want, provided there is no fixed-term lease in place.
Are landlords permitted to raise the rent in Texas during a pandemic?
There are no rent regulation laws that prevent a landlord from increasing the rent during a pandemic. However, local governments may impose their own restrictions, so it is best to check with your municipality before increasing the rent price.
Do I have to wait until the end of the lease term for a fixed contract to impose a rent hike?
Yes. Landlords are not allowed to increase the rent if they have a fixed-term lease in place.