Briefcase: Landlord/Tenant Law

Guest, Professor Rick McElvaney

Landlords in Texas have requirements that many may not understand. Professor Rick McElvaney with the University of Houston Law Center, says there are some common legal missteps that cost landlords.

“First, keeping a rental application fee and deposit without providing tenant selection criteria,” McElvaney said. “The second is failing to give a proper notice to evict for non-payment of rent. And third, changing door locks, seizing tenant’s property or collecting a late fee without proper lease provisions.”

On the flip side, tenants in Texas need to know their legal rights.

“You have the right to health or safety repairs,” Professor McElvaney continued. “If you give proper notice, your landlord must make a diligent effort to repair or you may terminate your lease and get damages in court. “If you complete your lease and give a forwarding address, you should get your security deposit or itemization within 30 days or you may recover three times the amount in court.”


Maggie Martin

Maggie Martin

Producer, Houston Matters

Maggie Martin is a producer for Houston Matters, the award-winning public affairs radio program on News 88.7FM. Originally from upstate New York, Maggie started her public radio career at WFUV, Fordham University’s public radio station in New York City. She’s also worked with The Brian Lehrer Show at WNYC, On...

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