Texas Laws - Property Code
PROPERTY CODE
TITLE 8. LANDLORD AND TENANT

(f) For the purposes of this section, an owner or property manager may disclose either an actual name or names or an assumed name if an assumed name certificate has been recorded with the county clerk. (7938)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3646, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (7939)

Sec. 92.202. LANDLORD'S FAILURE TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION. (7940)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord is liable to a tenant or a governmental body according to this subchapter if: (7941)

(1) after the tenant or government official or employee makes a request for information under Section 92.201, the landlord does not provide the information; and (7942)

(2) the landlord does not give the information to the tenant or government official or employee before the eighth day after the date the tenant, official, or employee gives the landlord written notice that the tenant, official, or employee may exercise remedies under this subchapter if the landlord does not comply with the request by the tenant, official, or employee for the information within seven days. (7943)

(b) If the tenant's lease is in writing, the lease may require the tenant's initial request for information to be written. A request by a government official or employee for information must be in writing. (7944)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3647, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (7945)

Sec. 92.203. LANDLORD'S FAILURE TO CORRECT INFORMATION. (7946)(1-click HTML)

A landlord who has provided information under Subdivision (2) or (3) of Subsection (b) of Section 92.201 is liable to a tenant according to this subchapter if: (7947)

(1) the information becomes incorrect because a name or address changes; and (7948)

(2) the landlord fails to correct the information on or before the seventh day after the date the tenant gives the landlord written notice that the tenant may exercise the remedies under this subchapter if the corrected information is not provided within seven days. (7949)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3647, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (7950)

Sec. 92.204. BAD FAITH VIOLATION. (7951)(1-click HTML)

A landlord acts in bad faith and is liable according to this subchapter if the landlord gives an incorrect name or address under Subsection (a) of Section 92.201 by wilfully: (7952)

(1) disclosing incorrect information under Section 92.201(b)(1) or (2) or Section 92.201(d); or (7953)

(2) failing to correct information given under Section 92.201(b)(1) or (2) or Section 92.201(d) that the landlord knows is incorrect. (7954)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3647, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (7955)

Sec. 92.205. REMEDIES. (7956)(1-click HTML)

(a) A tenant of a landlord who is liable under Section 92.202, 92.203, or 92.204 may obtain or exercise one or more of the following remedies: (7957)

(1) a court order directing the landlord to make a disclosure required by this subchapter; (7958)

(2) a judgment against the landlord for an amount equal to the tenant's actual costs in discovering the information required to be disclosed by this subchapter; (7959)

(3) a judgment against the landlord for one month's rent plus $100; (7960)

(4) a judgment against the landlord for court costs and attorney's fees; and (7961)

(5) unilateral termination of the lease without a court proceeding. (7962)

(b) A governmental body whose official or employee has requested information from a landlord who is liable under Section 92.202 or 92.204 may obtain or exercise one or more of the following remedies: (7963)

(1) a court order directing the landlord to make a disclosure required by this subchapter; (7964)

(2) a judgment against the landlord for an amount equal to the governmental body's actual costs in discovering the information required to be disclosed by this subchapter; (7965)

(3) a judgment against the landlord for $500; and (7966)

(4) a judgment against the landlord for court costs and attorney's fees. (7967)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3648, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (7968)

Sec. 92.206. LANDLORD'S DEFENSE. (7969)(1-click HTML)

A landlord has a defense to liability under Section 92.202 or 92.203 if the tenant owes rent on the date the tenant gives a notice required by either of those sections. Rent delinquency is not a defense for a violation of Section 92.204. (7970)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3648, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (7971)

Sec. 92.207. AGENTS FOR DELIVERY OF NOTICE. (7972)(1-click HTML)

(a) A managing or leasing agent, whether residing or maintaining an office on-site or off-site, is the agent of the landlord for purposes of: (7973)

(1) notice and other communications required or permitted by this subchapter; (7974)

(2) notice and other communications from a governmental body relating to a violation of health, sanitation, safety, or nuisance laws on the landlord's property where the dwelling is located, including notices of: (7975)

(A) demands for abatement of nuisances; (7976)

(B) repair of a substandard dwelling; (7977)

(C) remedy of dangerous conditions; (7978)

(D) reimbursement of costs incurred by the governmental body in curing the violation; (7979)

(E) fines; and (7980)

(F) service of process. (7981)

(b) If the landlord's name and business street address in this state have not been furnished in writing to the tenant or government official or employee, the person who collects the rent from a tenant is the landlord's authorized agent for purposes of Subsection (a). (7982)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3648, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (7983)

Sec. 92.208. ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT BY LOCAL ORDINANCE. (7984)(1-click HTML)

The duties of a landlord and the remedies of a tenant under this subchapter are in lieu of the common law, other statutory law, and local ordinances relating to the disclosure of ownership and management of a dwelling by a landlord to a tenant. However, this subchapter does not prohibit the adoption of a local ordinance that conforms to this subchapter but which contains additional enforcement provisions. (7985)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3648, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (7986)

SUBCHAPTER F. SMOKE ALARMS AND FIRE EXTINGUISHERS (7987)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 92.251. DEFINITIONS. (7988)(1-click HTML)

In this subchapter: (7989)

(1) "Bedroom" means a room designed with the intent that it be used for sleeping purposes. (7990)

(2) "Dwelling unit" means a home, mobile home, duplex unit, apartment unit, condominium unit, or any dwelling unit in a multiunit residential structure. It also means a "dwelling" as defined by Section 92.001. (7991)

(3) "Smoke alarm" means a device designed to detect and to alert occupants of a dwelling unit to the visible and invisible products of combustion by means of an audible alarm. (7992)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3649, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (7993)

Amended by: (7994)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (7995)

Sec. 92.252. APPLICATION OF OTHER LAW; MUNICIPAL REGULATION. (7996)(1-click HTML)

(a) The duties of a landlord and the remedies of a tenant under this subchapter are in lieu of common law, other statutory law, and local ordinances regarding a residential landlord's duty to install, inspect, or repair a fire extinguisher or smoke alarm in a dwelling unit. However, this subchapter does not: (7997)

(1) affect a local ordinance adopted before September 1, 1981, that requires landlords to install smoke alarms in new or remodeled dwelling units before September 1, 1981, if the ordinance conforms with or is amended to conform with this subchapter; (7998)

(2) limit or prevent adoption or enforcement of a local ordinance relating to fire safety as a part of a building, fire, or housing code, including any requirements relating to the installation of smoke alarms or the type of smoke alarms; (7999)

(3) otherwise limit or prevent the adoption of a local ordinance that conforms to this subchapter but which contains additional enforcement provisions, except as provided by Subsection (b); or (8000)

(4) affect a local ordinance that requires regular inspections by local officials of smoke alarms in dwelling units and that requires smoke alarms to be operational at the time of inspection. (8001)

(b) If a smoke alarm powered by battery has been installed in a dwelling unit built before September 1, 1987, in compliance with this subchapter and local ordinances, a local ordinance may not require that a smoke alarm powered by alternating current be installed in the unit unless: (8002)

(1) the interior of the unit is repaired, remodeled, or rebuilt at a projected cost of more than $5,000 and: (8003)

(A) the repair, remodeling, or rebuilding requires a municipal building permit; and (8004)

(B) either: (8005)

(i) the repair, remodeling, or rebuilding results in the removal of interior walls or ceiling finishes exposing the structure; or (8006)

(ii) the interior of the unit provides access for building wiring through an attic, crawl space, or basement without the removal of interior walls or ceiling finishes; (8007)

(2) an addition occurs to the unit at a projected cost of more than $5,000; (8008)

(3) a smoke alarm powered by alternating current was actually installed in the unit at any time prior to September 1, 1987; or (8009)

(4) a smoke alarm powered by alternating current was required by lawful city ordinance at the time of initial construction of the unit. (8010)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3649, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 475, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1205, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (8011)

Amended by: (8012)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8013)

Sec. 92.253. EXEMPTIONS. (8014)(1-click HTML)

(a) This subchapter does not apply to: (8015)

(1) a dwelling unit that is occupied by its owner, no part of which is leased to a tenant; (8016)

(2) a dwelling unit in a building five or more stories in height in which smoke alarms are required or regulated by local ordinance; or (8017)

(3) a nursing or convalescent home licensed by the Department of State Health Services and certified to meet the Life Safety Code under federal law and regulations. (8018)

(b) Notwithstanding this subchapter, a person licensed to install fire alarms or fire detection devices under Chapter 6002, Insurance Code, shall comply with that chapter when installing smoke alarms. (8019)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3649, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (8020)

Amended by: (8021)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8022)

Sec. 92.254. SMOKE ALARM. (8023)(1-click HTML)

(a) A smoke alarm must be: (8024)

(1) designed to detect both the visible and invisible products of combustion; (8025)

(2) designed with an alarm audible to a person in the bedrooms it serves; and (8026)

(3) tested and listed for use as a smoke alarm by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Research Corporation, or United States Testing Company, Inc. (8027)

(a-1) If requested by a tenant as an accommodation for a person with a hearing-impairment disability or as required by law as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a hearing-impairment disability, a smoke alarm must, in addition to complying with Subsection (a), be capable of alerting a hearing-impaired person in the bedrooms it serves. (8028)

(b) Except as provided by Section 92.255(b), a smoke alarm may be powered by battery, alternating current, or other power source as required by local ordinance. The power system and installation procedure of a security device that is electrically operated rather than battery operated must comply with applicable local ordinances. (8029)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3650, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 475, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. (8030)

Amended by: (8031)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 824 (S.B. 1715), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2010. (8032)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8033)

Sec. 92.255. INSTALLATION AND LOCATION. (8034)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord shall install at least one smoke alarm in each separate bedroom in a dwelling unit. In addition: (8035)

(1) if the dwelling unit is designed to use a single room for dining, living, and sleeping, the smoke alarm must be located inside the room; (8036)

(2) if multiple bedrooms are served by the same corridor, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the corridor in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms; and (8037)

(3) if the dwelling unit has multiple levels, at least one smoke alarm must be located on each level. (8038)

(b) If a dwelling unit was occupied as a residence before September 1, 2011, or a certificate of occupancy was issued for the dwelling unit before that date, a smoke alarm installed in accordance with Subsection (a) may be powered by battery and is not required to be interconnected with other smoke alarms, except that a smoke alarm that is installed to replace a smoke alarm that was in place on the date the dwelling unit was first occupied as a residence must comply with residential building code standards that applied to the dwelling unit on that date or Section 92.252(b). (8039)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3650, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (8040)

Amended by: (8041)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8042)

Sec. 92.257. INSTALLATION PROCEDURE. (8043)(1-click HTML)

(a) Subject to Subsections (b) and (c), a smoke alarm must be installed according to the manufacturer's recommended procedures. (8044)

(b) A smoke alarm must be installed on a ceiling or wall. If on a ceiling, it must be no closer than six inches to a wall or otherwise located in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions. If on a wall, it must be no closer than six inches and no farther than 12 inches from the ceiling or otherwise located in accordance with the manufacturer's installation instructions. (8045)

(c) A smoke alarm may be located other than as required by Subsection (a) or (b) if a local ordinance or a local or state fire marshal approves. (8046)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3651, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (8047)

Amended by: (8048)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8049)

Sec. 92.2571. ALTERNATIVE COMPLIANCE. (8050)(1-click HTML)

A landlord complies with the requirements of this subchapter relating to the provision of smoke alarms in the dwelling unit if the landlord: (8051)

(1) has a fire detection device, as defined by Section 6002.002, Insurance Code, that includes a fire alarm device, as defined by Section 6002.002, Insurance Code, installed in a dwelling unit; or (8052)

(2) for a dwelling unit that is a one-family or two-family dwelling unit, installs smoke detectors in compliance with Chapter 766, Health and Safety Code. (8053)

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 2118), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2007. (8054)

Amended by: (8055)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8056)

Sec. 92.258. INSPECTION AND REPAIR. (8057)(1-click HTML)

(a) The landlord shall inspect and repair a smoke alarm according to this section. (8058)

(b) The landlord shall determine that the smoke alarm is in good working order at the beginning of the tenant's possession by testing the smoke alarm with smoke, by operating the testing button on the smoke alarm, or by following other recommended test procedures of the manufacturer for the particular model. (8059)

(c) During the term of a lease or during a renewal or extension, the landlord has a duty to inspect and repair a smoke alarm, but only if the tenant gives the landlord notice of a malfunction or requests to the landlord that the smoke alarm be inspected or repaired. This duty does not exist with respect to damage or a malfunction caused by the tenant, the tenant's family, or the tenant's guests or invitees during the term of the lease or a renewal or extension, except that the landlord has a duty to repair or replace the smoke alarm if the tenant pays in advance the reasonable repair or replacement cost, including labor, materials, taxes, and overhead. (8060)

(d) The landlord must comply with the tenant's request for inspection or repair of a smoke alarm within a reasonable time, considering the availability of material, labor, and utilities. (8061)

(e) The landlord has met the duty to inspect and repair if the smoke alarm is in good working order after the landlord tests the smoke alarm with smoke, operates the testing button on the smoke alarm, or follows other recommended test procedures of the manufacturer for the particular model. (8062)

(f) The landlord is not obligated to provide batteries for a battery-operated smoke alarm after a tenant takes possession if the smoke alarm was in good working order at the time the tenant took possession. (8063)

(g) A smoke alarm that is in good working order at the beginning of a tenant's possession is presumed to be in good working order until the tenant requests repair of the smoke alarm as provided by this subchapter. (8064)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3651, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 918, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. (8065)

Amended by: (8066)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8067)

Sec. 92.259. LANDLORD'S FAILURE TO INSTALL, INSPECT, OR REPAIR. (8068)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord is liable according to this subchapter if: (8069)

(1) the landlord did not install a smoke alarm at the time of initial occupancy by the tenant as required by this subchapter or a municipal ordinance permitted by this subchapter; or (8070)

(2) the landlord does not install, inspect, or repair the smoke alarm on or before the seventh day after the date the tenant gives the landlord written notice that the tenant may exercise his remedies under this subchapter if the landlord does not comply with the request within seven days. (8071)

(b) If the tenant gives notice under Subsection (a)(2) and the tenant's lease is in writing, the lease may require the tenant to make the initial request for installation, inspection, or repair of a smoke alarm in writing. (8072)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3652, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 918, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. (8073)

Amended by: (8074)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011. (8075)

Sec. 92.260. TENANT REMEDIES. (8076)(1-click HTML)

A tenant of a landlord who is liable under Section 92.259 may obtain or exercise one or more of the following remedies: (8077)

(1) a court order directing the landlord to comply with the tenant's request if the tenant is in possession of the dwelling unit; (8078)

(2) a judgment against the landlord for damages suffered by the tenant because of the landlord's violation; (8079)

(3) a judgment against the landlord for a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $100 if the landlord violates Section 92.259(a)(2); (8080)

(4) a judgment against the landlord for court costs; (8081)

(5) a judgment against the landlord for attorney's fees in an action under Subdivision (1) or (3); and (8082)

(6) unilateral termination of the lease without a court proceeding if the landlord violates Section 92.259(a)(2). (8083)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3653, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 918, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. (8084)

Sec. 92.261. LANDLORD'S DEFENSES. (8085)(1-click HTML)

The landlord has a defense to liability under Section 92.259 if: (8086)

(1) on the date the tenant gives the notice required by Section 92.259 the tenant has not paid all rent due from the tenant; or (8087)

(2) on the date the tenant terminates the lease or files suit the tenant has not fully paid costs requested by the landlord and authorized by Section 92.258. (8088)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3653, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (8089)

Sec. 92.2611. TENANT'S DISABLING OF A SMOKE ALARM. (8090)(1-click HTML)

(a) A tenant is liable according to this subchapter if the tenant removes a battery from a smoke alarm without immediately replacing it with a working battery or knowingly disconnects or intentionally damages a smoke alarm, causing it to malfunction. (8091)

(b) Except as provided in Subsection (c), a landlord of a tenant who is liable under Subsection (a) may obtain a judgment against the tenant for damages suffered by the landlord because the tenant removed a battery from a smoke alarm without immediately replacing it with a working battery or knowingly disconnected or intentionally damaged the smoke alarm, causing it to malfunction. (8092)

(c) A tenant is not liable for damages suffered by the landlord if the damage is caused by the landlord's failure to repair the smoke alarm within a reasonable time after the tenant requests it to be repaired, considering the availability of material, labor, and utilities. (8093)

(d) A landlord of a tenant who is liable under Subsection (a) may obtain or exercise one or more of the remedies in Subsection (e) if: (8094)

(1) a lease between the landlord and tenant contains a notice, in underlined or boldfaced print, which states in substance that the tenant must not disconnect or intentionally damage a smoke alarm or remove the battery without immediately replacing it with a working battery and that the tenant may be subject to damages, civil penalties, and attorney's fees under Section 92.2611 of the Property Code for not complying with the notice; and (8095)

(2) the landlord has given notice to the tenant that the landlord intends to exercise the landlord's remedies under this subchapter if the tenant does not reconnect, repair, or replace the smoke alarm or replace the removed battery within seven days after being notified by the landlord to do so. (8096)

(d-1) The notice in Subsection (d)(2) must be in a separate document furnished to the tenant after the landlord has discovered that the tenant has disconnected or damaged the smoke alarm or removed a battery from it. (8097)

(e) If a tenant is liable under Subsection (a) and the tenant does not comply with the landlord's notice under Subsection (d), the landlord shall have the following remedies against the tenant: (8098)

(1) a court order directing the tenant to comply with the landlord's notice; (8099)

(2) a judgment against the tenant for a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $100; (8100)

(3) a judgment against the tenant for court costs; and (8101)

(4) a judgment against the tenant for reasonable attorney's fees. (8102)

(f) A tenant's guest or invitee who suffers damage because of a landlord's failure to install, inspect, or repair a smoke alarm as required by this subchapter may recover a judgment against the landlord for the damage. A tenant's guest or invitee who suffers damage because the tenant removed a battery without immediately replacing it with a working battery or because the tenant knowingly disconnected or intentionally damaged the smoke alarm, causing it to malfunction, may recover a judgment against the tenant for the damage. (8103)

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 918, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 28.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (8104)

Amended by: (8105)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011. (8106)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011. (8107)

Sec. 92.262. AGENTS FOR DELIVERY OF NOTICE. (8108)(1-click HTML)

A managing or leasing agent, whether residing or maintaining an office on-site or off-site, is the agent of the landlord for purposes of notice and other communications required or permitted by this subchapter. (8109)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3653, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. (8110)

Sec. 92.263. INSPECTION OF RESIDENTIAL FIRE EXTINGUISHER. (8111)(1-click HTML)

(a) If a landlord has installed a 1A10BC residential fire extinguisher as defined by the National Fire Protection Association or other non-rechargeable fire extinguisher in accordance with a local ordinance or other law, the landlord or the landlord's agent shall inspect the fire extinguisher: (8112)

(1) at the beginning of a tenant's possession; and (8113)

(2) within a reasonable time after receiving a written request by a tenant. (8114)

(b) At a minimum, an inspection under this section must include: (8115)

(1) checking to ensure the fire extinguisher is present; and (8116)

(2) checking to ensure the fire extinguisher gauge or pressure indicator indicates the correct pressure as recommended by the manufacturer of the fire extinguisher. (8117)

(c) A fire extinguisher that satisfies the inspection requirements of Subsection (b) at the beginning of a tenant's possession is presumed to be in good working order until the tenant requests an inspection in writing. (8118)

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011. (8119)

Sec. 92.264. DUTY TO REPAIR OR REPLACE. (8120)(1-click HTML)

(a) The landlord shall repair or replace a fire extinguisher at the landlord's expense if: (8121)

(1) on inspection, the fire extinguisher is found: (8122)

(A) not to be functioning; or (8123)

(B) not to have the correct pressure indicated on the gauge or pressure indicator as recommended by the manufacturer of the fire extinguisher; or (8124)

(2) a tenant has notified the landlord that the tenant has used the fire extinguisher for a legitimate purpose. (8125)

(b) If the tenant or the tenant's invited guest removes, misuses, damages, or otherwise disables a fire extinguisher: (8126)

(1) the landlord is not required to repair or replace the fire extinguisher at the landlord's expense; and (8127)

(2) the landlord is required to repair or replace the fire extinguisher within a reasonable time if the tenant pays in advance the reasonable repair or replacement cost, including labor, materials, taxes, and overhead. (8128)

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2011. (8129)

SUBCHAPTER G. UTILITY CUTOFF (8130)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 92.301. LANDLORD LIABILITY TO TENANT FOR UTILITY CUTOFF. (8131)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord who has expressly or impliedly agreed in the lease to furnish and pay for water, gas, or electric service to the tenant's dwelling is liable to the tenant if the utility company has cut off utility service to the tenant's dwelling or has given written notice to the tenant that such utility service is about to be cut off because of the landlord's nonpayment of the utility bill. (8132)

(b) If a landlord is liable to the tenant under Subsection (a) of this section, the tenant may: (8133)

(1) pay the utility company money to reconnect or avert the cutoff of utilities according to this section; (8134)

(2) terminate the lease if the termination notice is in writing and move-out is to be within 30 days from the date the tenant has notice from the utility company of a future cutoff or notice of an actual cutoff, whichever is sooner; (8135)

(3) deduct from the tenant's rent, without necessity of judicial action, the amounts paid to the utility company to reconnect or avert a cutoff; (8136)

(4) if the lease is terminated by the tenant, deduct the tenant's security deposit from the tenant's rent without necessity of lawsuit or obtain a refund of the tenant's security deposit pursuant to law; (8137)

(5) if the lease is terminated by the tenant, recover a pro rata refund of any advance rentals paid from the date of termination or the date the tenant moves out, whichever is later; (8138)

(6) recover actual damages, including but not limited to moving costs, utility connection fees, storage fees, and lost wages from work; and (8139)

(7) recover court costs and attorney's fees, excluding any attorney's fees for a cause of action for damages relating to a personal injury. (8140)

(c) When deducting for the tenant's payment of the landlord's utility bill under this section, the tenant shall submit to the landlord a copy of a receipt from the utility company which evidences the amount of payment made by the tenant to reconnect or avert cutoff of utilities. (8141)

(d) The tenant remedies under this section are effective on the date the tenant has notice from the utility company of a future cutoff or notice of an actual cutoff, whichever is sooner. However, the tenant's remedies under this section shall cease if: (8142)

(1) the landlord provides the tenant with written evidence from the utility that all delinquent sums due the utility have been paid in full; and (8143)

(2) at the time the tenant receives such evidence, the tenant has not yet terminated the lease or filed suit under this section. (8144)

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 650, Sec. 12, eff. Aug. 28, 1989. (8145)

Sec. 92.302. NOTICE OF UTILITY DISCONNECTION OF NONSUBMETERED MASTER METERED MULTIFAMILY PROPERTY TO MUNICIPALITIES, OWNERS, AND TENANTS. (8146)(1-click HTML)

(a) In this section: (8147)

(1) "Customer" means a person who is responsible for bills received for electric utility service or gas utility service provided to nonsubmetered master metered multifamily property. (8148)

(2) "Nonsubmetered master metered multifamily property" means an apartment, a leased or owner-occupied condominium, or one or more buildings containing at least 10 dwellings that receive electric utility service or gas utility service that is master metered but not submetered. (8149)

(b) A customer shall provide written notice of a service disconnection to each tenant or owner at a nonsubmetered master metered multifamily property not later than the fifth day after the date the customer receives a notice of service disconnection from an electric service provider or a gas utility. The customer must provide the notice by mail to the tenant's or owner's preferred mailing address or hand deliver the notice to the tenant or owner. The written notice must include the customer's contact information and the tenant's remedies under Section 92.301. The notice must include the following text in both English and Spanish: (8150)

"Notice to residents of (name and address of nonsubmetered master metered multifamily property): Electric (or gas) service to this property is scheduled for disconnection on (date) because (reason for disconnection)." (8151)

(c) If the property is located in a municipality, the customer shall provide the same notice described by Subsection (b) to the governing body of that municipality by certified mail. The governing body of the municipality may provide additional notice to the property's tenants and owners after receipt of the service disconnection notice under this subsection. (8152)

(d) A customer is not required to provide the notices described by this section if the customer avoids the disconnection by paying the bill. (8153)

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 322 (H.B. 1772), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2014. (8154)

SUBCHAPTER H. RETALIATION (8155)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 92.331. RETALIATION BY LANDLORD. (8156)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord may not retaliate against a tenant by taking an action described by Subsection (b) because the tenant: (8157)

(1) in good faith exercises or attempts to exercise against a landlord a right or remedy granted to the tenant by lease, municipal ordinance, or federal or state statute; (8158)

(2) gives a landlord a notice to repair or exercise a remedy under this chapter; (8159)

(3) complains to a governmental entity responsible for enforcing building or housing codes, a public utility, or a civic or nonprofit agency, and the tenant: (8160)

(A) claims a building or housing code violation or utility problem; and (8161)

(B) believes in good faith that the complaint is valid and that the violation or problem occurred; or (8162)

(4) establishes, attempts to establish, or participates in a tenant organization. (8163)

(b) A landlord may not, within six months after the date of the tenant's action under Subsection (a), retaliate against the tenant by: (8164)

(1) filing an eviction proceeding, except for the grounds stated by Section 92.332; (8165)

(2) depriving the tenant of the use of the premises, except for reasons authorized by law; (8166)

(3) decreasing services to the tenant; (8167)

(4) increasing the tenant's rent or terminating the tenant's lease; or (8168)

(5) engaging, in bad faith, in a course of conduct that materially interferes with the tenant's rights under the tenant's lease. (8169)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3637, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 650, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Redesignated from Property Code Sec. 92.057(a) and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (8170)

Amended by: (8171)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 588 (S.B. 630), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2014. (8172)

Sec. 92.332. NONRETALIATION. (8173)(1-click HTML)

(a) The landlord is not liable for retaliation under this subchapter if the landlord proves that the action was not made for purposes of retaliation, nor is the landlord liable, unless the action violates a prior court order under Section 92.0563, for: (8174)

(1) increasing rent under an escalation clause in a written lease for utilities, taxes, or insurance; or (8175)

(2) increasing rent or reducing services as part of a pattern of rent increases or service reductions for an entire multidwelling project. (8176)

(b) An eviction or lease termination based on the following circumstances, which are valid grounds for eviction or lease termination in any event, does not constitute retaliation: (8177)

(1) the tenant is delinquent in rent when the landlord gives notice to vacate or files an eviction action; (8178)

(2) the tenant, a member of the tenant's family, or a guest or invitee of the tenant intentionally damages property on the premises or by word or conduct threatens the personal safety of the landlord, the landlord's employees, or another tenant; (8179)

(3) the tenant has materially breached the lease, other than by holding over, by an action such as violating written lease provisions prohibiting serious misconduct or criminal acts, except as provided by this section; (8180)

(4) the tenant holds over after giving notice of termination or intent to vacate; (8181)

(5) the tenant holds over after the landlord gives notice of termination at the end of the rental term and the tenant does not take action under Section 92.331 until after the landlord gives notice of termination; or (8182)

(6) the tenant holds over and the landlord's notice of termination is motivated by a good faith belief that the tenant, a member of the tenant's family, or a guest or invitee of the tenant might: (8183)

(A) adversely affect the quiet enjoyment by other tenants or neighbors; (8184)

(B) materially affect the health or safety of the landlord, other tenants, or neighbors; or (8185)

(C) damage the property of the landlord, other tenants, or neighbors. (8186)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3637, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 650, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Redesignated from Property Code Sec. 92.057(b), (c) and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (8187)

Sec. 92.333. TENANT REMEDIES. (8188)(1-click HTML)

In addition to other remedies provided by law, if a landlord retaliates against a tenant under this subchapter, the tenant may recover from the landlord a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $500, actual damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees in an action for recovery of property damages, moving costs, actual expenses, civil penalties, or declaratory or injunctive relief, less any delinquent rents or other sums for which the tenant is liable to the landlord. If the tenant's rent payment to the landlord is subsidized in whole or in part by a governmental entity, the civil penalty granted under this section shall reflect the fair market rent of the dwelling plus $500. (8189)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3637, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 650, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 48, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Redesignated from Property Code Sec. 92.057(d) and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (8190)

Sec. 92.334. INVALID COMPLAINTS. (8191)(1-click HTML)

(a) If a tenant files or prosecutes a suit for retaliatory action based on a complaint asserted under Section 92.331(a)(3), and the government building or housing inspector or utility company representative visits the premises and determines in writing that a violation of a building or housing code does not exist or that a utility problem does not exist, there is a rebuttable presumption that the tenant acted in bad faith. (8192)

(b) If a tenant files or prosecutes a suit under this subchapter in bad faith, the landlord may recover possession of the dwelling unit and may recover from the tenant a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $500, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees. If the tenant's rent payment to the landlord is subsidized in whole or in part by a governmental entity, the civil penalty granted under this section shall reflect the fair market rent of the dwelling plus $500. (8193)

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (8194)

Sec. 92.335. EVICTION SUITS. (8195)(1-click HTML)

In an eviction suit, retaliation by the landlord under Section 92.331 is a defense and a rent deduction lawfully made by the tenant under this chapter is a defense for nonpayment of the rent to the extent allowed by this chapter. Other judicial actions under this chapter may not be joined with an eviction suit or asserted as a defense or crossclaim in an eviction suit. (8196)

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3638, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 650, Sec. 11, eff. Aug. 28, 1989. Renumbered from Property Code Sec. 92.059 and amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. (8197)

SUBCHAPTER I. RENTAL APPLICATION (8198)(1-click HTML)
Sec. 92.351. DEFINITIONS. (8199)(1-click HTML)

For purposes of this subchapter: (8200)

(1) "Application deposit" means a sum of money that is given to the landlord in connection with a rental application and that is refundable to the applicant if the applicant is rejected as a tenant. (8201)

(1-a) "Application fee" means a nonrefundable sum of money that is given to the landlord to offset the costs of screening an applicant for acceptance as a tenant. (8202)

(2) "Applicant" or "rental applicant" means a person who makes an application to a landlord for rental of a dwelling. (8203)

(3) "Co-applicant" means a person who makes an application for rental of a dwelling with other applicants and who plans to live in the dwelling with other applicants. (8204)

(4) "Deposited" means deposited in an account of the landlord or the landlord's agent in a bank or other financial institution. (8205)

(5) "Landlord" means a prospective landlord to whom a person makes application for rental of a dwelling. (8206)

(5-a) "Rental application" means a written request made by an applicant to a landlord to lease premises from the landlord. (8207)

(6) "Required date" means the required date for any acceptance of the applicant under Section 92.352. (8208)

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 744, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Renumbered from Property Code Sec. 92.331 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(71), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (8209)

Amended by: (8210)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 917 (H.B. 3101), Sec. 7, eff. January 1, 2008. (8211)

Sec. 92.3515. NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. (8212)(1-click HTML)

(a) At the time an applicant is provided with a rental application, the landlord shall make available to the applicant printed notice of the landlord's tenant selection criteria and the grounds for which the rental application may be denied, including the applicant's: (8213)

(1) criminal history; (8214)

(2) previous rental history; (8215)

(3) current income; (8216)

(4) credit history; or (8217)

(5) failure to provide accurate or complete information on the application form. (8218)

(b) If the landlord makes the notice available under Subsection (a), the applicant shall sign an acknowledgment indicating the notice was made available. If the acknowledgment is not signed, there is a rebuttable presumption that the notice was not made available to the applicant. (8219)

(c) The acknowledgment required by Subsection (b) must include a statement substantively equivalent to the following: "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." (8220)

(d) The acknowledgment may be part of the rental application if the notice is underlined or in bold print. (8221)

(e) If the landlord rejects an applicant and the landlord has not made the notice required by Subsection (a) available, the landlord shall return the application fee and any application deposit. (8222)

(f) If an applicant requests a landlord to mail a refund of the applicant's application fee to the applicant, the landlord shall mail the refund check to the applicant at the address furnished by the applicant. (8223)

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 917 (H.B. 3101), Sec. 8, eff. January 1, 2008. (8224)

Sec. 92.352. REJECTION OF APPLICANT. (8225)(1-click HTML)

(a) The applicant is deemed rejected by the landlord if the landlord does not give notice of acceptance of the applicant on or before the seventh day after the: (8226)

(1) date the applicant submits a completed rental application to the landlord on an application form furnished by the landlord; or (8227)

(2) date the landlord accepts an application deposit if the landlord does not furnish the applicant an application form. (8228)

(b) A landlord's rejection of one co-applicant shall be deemed as a rejection of all co-applicants. (8229)

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 744, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Renumbered from Property Code Sec. 92.332 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(71), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (8230)

Sec. 92.353. PROCEDURES FOR NOTICE OR REFUND. (8231)(1-click HTML)

(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a landlord is presumed to have given notice of an applicant's acceptance or rejection if the notice is by: (8232)

(1) telephone to the applicant, co-applicant, or a person living with the applicant or co-applicant on or before the required date; or (8233)

(2) United States mail, addressed to the applicant and postmarked on or before the required date. (8234)

(b) If a rental applicant requests that any acceptance of the applicant or any refund of the applicant's application deposit be mailed to the applicant, the landlord must mail the refund check to the applicant at the address furnished by the applicant. (8235)

(c) If the date of required notice of acceptance or required refund of an application deposit is a Saturday, Sunday, or state or federal holiday, the required date shall be extended to the end of the next day following the Saturday, Sunday, or holiday. (8236)

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 744, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Renumbered from Property Code Sec. 92.333 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(71), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (8237)

Sec. 92.354. LIABILITY OF LANDLORD. (8238)(1-click HTML)

A landlord who in bad faith fails to refund an application fee or deposit in violation of this subchapter is liable for an amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the amount wrongfully retained, and the applicant's reasonable attorney's fees. (8239)

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 744, Sec. 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. Renumbered from Property Code Sec. 92.334 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(71), eff. Sept. 1, 1997. (8240)

Amended by: (8241)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 917 (H.B. 3101), Sec. 9, eff. January 1, 2008. (8242)

Sec. 92.355. WAIVER. (8243)(1-click HTML)

A provision of a rental application that purports to waive a right or exempt a party from a liability or duty under this subchapter is void. (8244)

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 917 (H.B. 3101), Sec. 10, eff. January 1, 2008. (8245)

CHAPTER 93. COMMERCIAL TENANCIES (8246)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 93.001. APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER. (8247)(1-click HTML)

(a) This chapter applies only to the relationship between landlords and tenants of commercial rental property. (8248)

(b) For purposes of this chapter, "commercial rental property" means rental property that is not covered by Chapter 92. (8249)

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 687, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 689, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. (8250)

Sec. 93.002. INTERRUPTION OF UTILITIES, REMOVAL OF PROPERTY, AND EXCLUSION OF COMMERCIAL TENANT. (8251)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord or a landlord's agent may not interrupt or cause the interruption of utility service paid for directly to the utility company by a tenant unless the interruption results from bona fide repairs, construction, or an emergency. (8252)

(b) A landlord may not remove a door, window, or attic hatchway cover or a lock, latch, hinge, hinge pin, doorknob, or other mechanism connected to a door, window, or attic hatchway cover from premises leased to a tenant or remove furniture, fixtures, or appliances furnished by the landlord from premises leased to a tenant unless the landlord removes the item for a bona fide repair or replacement. If a landlord removes any of the items listed in this subsection for a bona fide repair or replacement, the repair or replacement must be promptly performed. (8253)

(c) A landlord may not intentionally prevent a tenant from entering the leased premises except by judicial process unless the exclusion results from: (8254)

(1) bona fide repairs, construction, or an emergency; (8255)

(2) removing the contents of premises abandoned by a tenant; or (8256)

(3) changing the door locks of a tenant who is delinquent in paying at least part of the rent. (8257)

(d) A tenant is presumed to have abandoned the premises if goods, equipment, or other property, in an amount substantial enough to indicate a probable intent to abandon the premises, is being or has been removed from the premises and the removal is not within the normal course of the tenant's business. (8258)

(e) A landlord may remove and store any property of a tenant that remains on premises that are abandoned. In addition to the landlord's other rights, the landlord may dispose of the stored property if the tenant does not claim the property within 60 days after the date the property is stored. The landlord shall deliver by certified mail to the tenant at the tenant's last known address a notice stating that the landlord may dispose of the tenant's property if the tenant does not claim the property within 60 days after the date the property is stored. (8259)

(f) If a landlord or a landlord's agent changes the door lock of a tenant who is delinquent in paying rent, the landlord or agent must place a written notice on the tenant's front door stating the name and the address or telephone number of the individual or company from which the new key may be obtained. The new key is required to be provided only during the tenant's regular business hours and only if the tenant pays the delinquent rent. (8260)

(g) If a landlord or a landlord's agent violates this section, the tenant may: (8261)

(1) either recover possession of the premises or terminate the lease; and (8262)

(2) recover from the landlord an amount equal to the sum of the tenant's actual damages, one month's rent or $500, whichever is greater, reasonable attorney's fees, and court costs, less any delinquent rents or other sums for which the tenant is liable to the landlord. (8263)

(h) A lease supersedes this section to the extent of any conflict. (8264)

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 689, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 44, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. (8265)

Sec. 93.003. COMMERCIAL TENANT'S RIGHT OF REENTRY AFTER UNLAWFUL LOCKOUT. (8266)(1-click HTML)

(a) If a landlord has locked a tenant out of leased premises in violation of Section 93.002, the tenant may recover possession of the premises as provided by this section. (8267)

(b) The tenant must file with the justice court in the precinct in which the rental premises are located a sworn complaint for reentry, specifying the facts of the alleged unlawful lockout by the landlord or the landlord's agent. The tenant must also state orally under oath to the justice the facts of the alleged unlawful lockout. (8268)

(c) If the tenant has complied with Subsection (b) and if the justice reasonably believes an unlawful lockout has likely occurred, the justice may issue, ex parte, a writ of reentry that entitles the tenant to immediate and temporary possession of the premises, pending a final hearing on the tenant's sworn complaint for reentry. (8269)

(d) The writ of reentry must be served on either the landlord or the landlord's management company, on-premises manager, or rent collector in the same manner as a writ of possession in a forcible detainer action. A sheriff or constable may use reasonable force in executing a writ of reentry under this section. (8270)

(e) The landlord is entitled to a hearing on the tenant's sworn complaint for reentry. The writ of reentry must notify the landlord of the right to a hearing. The hearing shall be held not earlier than the first day and not later than the seventh day after the date the landlord requests a hearing. (8271)

(f) If the landlord fails to request a hearing on the tenant's sworn complaint for reentry before the eighth day after the date of service of the writ of reentry on the landlord under Subsection (d), a judgment for court costs may be rendered against the landlord. (8272)

(g) A party may appeal from the court's judgment at the hearing on the sworn complaint for reentry in the same manner as a party may appeal a judgment in a forcible detainer suit. (8273)

(h) If a writ of possession is issued, it supersedes a writ of reentry. (8274)

(i) If the landlord or the person on whom a writ of reentry is served fails to immediately comply with the writ or later disobeys the writ, the failure is grounds for contempt of court against the landlord or the person on whom the writ was served, under Section 21.002, Government Code. If the writ is disobeyed, the tenant or the tenant's attorney may file in the court in which the reentry action is pending an affidavit stating the name of the person who has disobeyed the writ and describing the acts or omissions constituting the disobedience. On receipt of an affidavit, the justice shall issue a show cause order, directing the person to appear on a designated date and show cause why he should not be adjudged in contempt of court. If the justice finds, after considering the evidence at the hearing, that the person has directly or indirectly disobeyed the writ, the justice may commit the person to jail without bail until the person purges himself of the contempt in a manner and form as the justice may direct. If the person disobeyed the writ before receiving the show cause order but has complied with the writ after receiving the order, the justice may find the person in contempt and assess punishment under Section 21.002(c), Government Code. (8275)

(j) This section does not affect a tenant's right to pursue a separate cause of action under Section 93.002. (8276)

(k) If a tenant in bad faith files a sworn complaint for reentry resulting in a writ of reentry being served on the landlord or landlord's agent, the landlord may in a separate cause of action recover from the tenant an amount equal to actual damages, one month's rent or $500, whichever is greater, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs of court, less any sums for which the landlord is liable to the tenant. (8277)

(l) The fee for filing a sworn complaint for reentry is the same as that for filing a civil action in justice court. The fee for service of a writ of reentry is the same as that for service of a writ of possession. The fee for service of a show cause order is the same as that for service of a civil citation. The justice may defer payment of the tenant's filing fees and service costs for the sworn complaint for reentry and writ of reentry. Court costs may be waived only if the tenant executes a pauper's affidavit. (8278)

(m) This section does not affect the rights of a landlord or tenant in a forcible detainer or forcible entry and detainer action. (8279)

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 687, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 595, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 2001. (8280)

Sec. 93.004. SECURITY DEPOSIT. (8281)(1-click HTML)

A security deposit is any advance of money, other than a rental application deposit or an advance payment of rent, that is intended primarily to secure performance under a lease of commercial rental property. (8282)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (8283)

Sec. 93.005. OBLIGATION TO REFUND SECURITY DEPOSIT. (8284)(1-click HTML)

(a) The landlord shall refund the security deposit to the tenant not later than the 60th day after the date the tenant surrenders the premises and provides notice to the landlord or the landlord's agent of the tenant's forwarding address under Section 93.009. (8285)

(b) The tenant's claim to the security deposit takes priority over the claim of any creditor of the landlord, including a trustee in bankruptcy. (8286)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1143, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (8287)

Sec. 93.006. RETENTION OF SECURITY DEPOSIT; ACCOUNTING. (8288)(1-click HTML)

(a) Before returning a security deposit, the landlord may deduct from the deposit damages and charges for which the tenant is legally liable under the lease or damages and charges that result from a breach of the lease. (8289)

(b) The landlord may not retain any portion of a security deposit to cover normal wear and tear. In this subsection, "normal wear and tear" means deterioration that results from the intended use of the commercial premises, including breakage or malfunction due to age or deteriorated condition, but the term does not include deterioration that results from negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises, equipment, or chattels by the tenant or by a guest or invitee of the tenant. (8290)

(c) If the landlord retains all or part of a security deposit under this section, the landlord shall give to the tenant the balance of the security deposit, if any, together with a written description and itemized list of all deductions. The landlord is not required to give the tenant a description and itemized list of deductions if: (8291)

(1) the tenant owes rent when the tenant surrenders possession of the premises; and (8292)

(2) no controversy exists concerning the amount of rent owed. (8293)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (8294)

Sec. 93.007. CESSATION OF OWNER'S INTEREST. (8295)(1-click HTML)

(a) If the owner's interest in the premises is terminated by sale, assignment, death, appointment of a receiver, bankruptcy, or otherwise, the new owner is liable for the return of the security deposit according to this chapter from the date title to the premises is acquired, regardless of whether an acknowledgement is given to the tenant under Subsection (b). (8296)

(b) The person who no longer owns an interest in the rental premises remains liable for a security deposit received while the person was the owner until the new owner delivers to the tenant a signed statement acknowledging that the new owner has received and is responsible for the tenant's security deposit and specifying the exact dollar amount of the deposit. The amount of the security deposit is the greater of: (8297)

(1) the amount provided in the tenant's lease; or (8298)

(2) the amount provided in an estoppel certificate prepared by the owner at the time the lease was executed or prepared by the new owner at the time the commercial property is transferred. (8299)

(c) Subsection (a) does not apply to a real estate mortgage lienholder who acquires title by foreclosure. (8300)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (8301)

Sec. 93.008. RECORDS. (8302)(1-click HTML)

The landlord shall keep accurate records of all security deposits. (8303)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (8304)

Sec. 93.009. TENANT'S FORWARDING ADDRESS. (8305)(1-click HTML)

(a) The landlord is not obligated to return a tenant's security deposit or give the tenant a written description of damages and charges until the tenant gives the landlord a written statement of the tenant's forwarding address for the purpose of refunding the security deposit. (8306)

(b) The tenant does not forfeit the right to a refund of the security deposit or the right to receive a description of damages and charges for failing to give a forwarding address to the landlord. (8307)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (8308)

Sec. 93.010. LIABILITY FOR WITHHOLDING LAST MONTH'S RENT. (8309)(1-click HTML)

(a) The tenant may not withhold payment of any portion of the last month's rent on grounds that the security deposit is security for unpaid rent. (8310)

(b) A tenant who violates this section is presumed to have acted in bad faith. A tenant who in bad faith violates this section is liable to the landlord for an amount equal to three times the rent wrongfully withheld and the landlord's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the rent. (8311)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (8312)

Sec. 93.011. LIABILITY OF LANDLORD. (8313)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord who in bad faith retains a security deposit in violation of this chapter is liable for an amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld, and the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees incurred in a suit to recover the deposit after the period prescribed for returning the deposit expires. (8314)

(b) A landlord who in bad faith does not provide a written description and itemized list of damages and charges in violation of this chapter: (8315)

(1) forfeits the right to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring suit against the tenant for damages to the premises; and (8316)

(2) is liable for the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit. (8317)

(c) In a suit brought by a tenant under this chapter, the landlord has the burden of proving that the retention of any portion of the security deposit was reasonable. (8318)

(d) A landlord who fails to return a security deposit or to provide a written description and itemized list of deductions on or before the 60th day after the date the tenant surrenders possession is presumed to have acted in bad faith. (8319)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1143, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (8320)

Sec. 93.012. ASSESSMENT OF CHARGES. (8321)(1-click HTML)

(a) A landlord may not assess a charge, excluding a charge for rent or physical damage to the leased premises, to a tenant unless the amount of the charge or the method by which the charge is to be computed is stated in the lease, an exhibit or attachment that is part of the lease, or an amendment to the lease. (8322)

(b) This section does not affect a landlord's right to assess a charge or obtain a remedy allowed under a statute or common law. (8323)

(c) This section does not affect the contractual right of a landlord that is a governmental entity created under Subchapter D, Chapter 22, Transportation Code, whose constituent municipalities are populous home-rule municipalities to assess charges under a lease to fully compensate the governmental entity for the governmental entity's operating costs. (8324)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1397, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2002. Renumbered from Property Code Sec. 93.004 by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, Sec. 2(119), eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (8325)

Amended by: (8326)

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 71 (H.B. 1382), Sec. 1, eff. May 20, 2009. (8327)

Sec. 93.013. CERTAIN UNLAWFUL USES OF PREMISES; TERMINATION OF TENANT'S RIGHT OF POSSESSION. (8328)(1-click HTML)

(a) Notwithstanding a provision in a lease to the contrary, a tenant's right of possession terminates and the landlord has a right to recover possession of the leased premises if the tenant is using the premises or allowing the premises to be used for the purposes of prostitution, promotion of prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, or compelling prostitution, as prohibited by the Penal Code, or trafficking of persons as described by Section 20A.02, Penal Code. (8329)

(b) A landlord who reasonably believes a tenant is using the leased premises or allowing the leased premises to be used for a purpose described by Subsection (a) may file a forcible detainer suit under Chapter 24 seeking possession of the premises and unpaid rent, including rent for any period of occupancy after the tenant's right of possession terminates. (8330)

(c) Notwithstanding Section 24.005 or 91.001 or any other law or a provision in the lease to the contrary, the landlord is not required for purposes of a forcible detainer suit authorized by this section: (8331)

(1) to give a notice of proposed eviction or a notice of termination before giving notice to vacate; or (8332)

(2) to give the tenant more than three days' notice to vacate before filing the suit. (8333)

(d) A pending suit brought by the attorney general or a district, county, or city attorney under Chapter 125, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, alleging that a common nuisance is being maintained on the leased premises with respect to an activity described by Subsection (a) is prima facie evidence that the tenant's right of possession has terminated and the landlord has a right to recover possession of the premises under Subsection (a). (8334)

(e) A final, nonappealable determination by a court under Chapter 125, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, that a common nuisance is being maintained on the leased premises with respect to an activity described by Subsection (a) creates an irrebuttable presumption that the tenant's right of possession has terminated and the landlord has a right to recover possession of the premises under Subsection (a). (8335)

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 858 (H.B. 2552), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2017. (8336)

CHAPTER 94. MANUFACTURED HOME TENANCIES (8337)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 94.001. DEFINITIONS. (8338)(1-click HTML)

In this chapter: (8339)

(1) "Landlord" means the owner or manager of a manufactured home community and includes an employee or agent of the landlord. (8340)

(2) "Lease agreement" means a written agreement between a landlord and a tenant that establishes the terms, conditions, and other provisions for placing a manufactured home on the premises of a manufactured home community. (8341)

(3) "Manufactured home" has the meaning assigned by Section 1201.003, Occupations Code. (8342)

(4) "Manufactured home community" means a parcel of land on which four or more lots are offered for lease for installing and occupying manufactured homes. (8343)

(5) "Manufactured home community rules" means the rules provided in a written document that establish the policies and regulations of the manufactured home community, including regulations relating to the use, occupancy, and quiet enjoyment of and the health, safety, and welfare of tenants of the manufactured home community. (8344)

(6) "Manufactured home lot" means the space allocated in the lease agreement for the placement of the tenant's manufactured home and the area adjacent to that space designated in the lease agreement for the tenant's exclusive use. (8345)

(7) "Normal wear and tear" means deterioration that results from intended use of the premises, including breakage or malfunction due to age or deteriorated condition, but the term does not include deterioration that results from negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises, equipment, or chattels by the tenant, a member of the tenant's household, or a guest or invitee of the tenant. (8346)

(8) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 613, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013. (8347)

(9) "Premises" means a tenant's manufactured home lot, any area or facility the lease authorizes the tenant to use, and the appurtenances, grounds, and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally. (8348)

(10) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 613, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013. (8349)

(11) "Tenant" means a person who is: (8350)

(A) authorized by a lease agreement to occupy a lot to the exclusion of others in a manufactured home community; and (8351)

(B) obligated under the lease agreement to pay rent, fees, and other charges. (8352)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2002. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 75, Sec. 1, eff. May 16, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 14A.808, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (8353)

Amended by: (8354)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 613 (S.B. 1268), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013. (8355)

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 613 (S.B. 1268), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013. (8356)

Sec. 94.002. APPLICABILITY. (8357)(1-click HTML)

(a) This chapter applies only to the relationship between a landlord who leases property in a manufactured home community and a tenant leasing property in the manufactured home community for the purpose of situating a manufactured home on the property. (8358)

(b) This chapter does not apply to the relationship between: (8359)

(1) a landlord who owns a manufactured home and a tenant who leases the manufactured home from the landlord; (8360)

(2) a landlord who leases property in a manufactured home community and a tenant leasing property in the manufactured home community for the placement of personal property to be used for human habitation, excluding a manufactured home; or (8361)

(3) a landlord and an employee or an agent of the landlord. (8362)

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2002. (8363)

Amended by: (8364)

  

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