Renting in Austin: 4 Laws You Should Know

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Renting in Austin: 4 Laws You Should Know

Emily Gojko · Dec 13, 2009

If you are renting in Austin, Texas, whether it be an apartment or a house, it is important to be aware of your tenant rights in case an issue ever arises. Not every state is the same, and not every city is either in their landlord tenant regulations and laws.

1. Right of Entry in Austin

It is important to note that in Austin, the landlord tenant law does not address a landlord’s right of entry. Consequently, when renting in Austin, it is especially important that your lease agreement stipulates when the landlord has the right to enter the property, and how and when he is to notify you of such entry. If a legal issue ever arises, the Austin courts will defer back to the lease agreement since their is no state law for the right of entry.

That beings said, do not panic if you have already signed your lease, and there is nothing included about right of entry. Generally, the courts will uphold that the landlord may only enter the property without notice to you to make repairs that you have requested, respond to an emergency, or serve an eviction notice.

2. Rental Application Fees in Austin

Typically when you are looking to rent in Austin, a landlord may charge between $25 and $35 for a rental application fee, however, it is important to bare in mind that rental application fees are not capped by local landlord tenant law. The landlord can really charge whatever he wants for the application fee. The landlord is also not required to refund this fee (usually unless it is stated in the application) in the event that you do not get approved for the rental.

3. Security Deposits in Austin

If you are renting in Austin, you should be knowledgeable of security deposit laws, so that you know when and in how long your security deposit must be returned to you according to local law. In Austin, the landlord has only 30 days to return your security deposit to you from the time the rental unit is surrendered. This of course is assuming there is no damage to the rental beyond normal wear and tear. In such a case, the landlord must furnish you with a list of damages that he is retaining the security deposit for. That is, unless you have not paid the rent in full. In such a case, in Austin, the landlord does not need to supply you with a list of damages.

4. Late Rent Payments in Austin

Often times, when your rent is late, your landlord will charge you a late fee. In Austin, the landlord may not charge a late fee unless it is specifically outlined in the lease agreement, the late fee being charges is reasonable, and the late fee is not charged until one full day has passed from the actual rent due date. What this means is that if you are renting in Austin, and your rent it $800 per month, your landlord can’t charge you a $200 late fee, and he can’t charge you one at all if it isn’t included in your lease agreement.

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Emily Gojko: I am a writer, marketer, and manager with a strong background in real estate development and management. I am also a native New Yorker with an obsession for home design shows, so I have personal and professional experience making the most of small spaces, and dealing with good and bad living situations.

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