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Navigating Landlord-Tenant Disputes: Rights and Responsibilities

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Landlord lawyer |

It is important for landlords to understand their responsibilities for maintaining a positive relationship with tenants. Landlords can help better ensure this positive relationship by having a basic understanding of some of the more common disputes, as discussed below.

#1: Security deposits

Security deposits protect the landlord’s interest against damages or unpaid rent. Landlords can better ensure this is successful by conducting a thorough move-in inspection with the tenant and returning the deposit promptly after deducting legitimate expenses.

#2: Maintenance and repairs

Although the particulars of maintenance obligations vary by state and lease terms, landlords are wise to keep the property in habitable condition and respond promptly to repair requests to avoid any potential legal consequences.

#3: Rent increases

Landlords can generally raise rent when renewing a tenant’s lease, but there are limitations. It is important to follow legal procedures and keep the following in mind:

  • Notice: Provide written notice at least 30 days before the rent increase takes effect.
  • Limitations: Texas law generally does not impose a specific limit on rent increases. However, if the lease specifies a fixed term (e.g., one year), you could face legal recourse if you attempt to raise the rent during that term unless the lease allows it.
  • Retaliatory actions: Avoid raising rent in retaliation for tenant complaints or exercising their legal rights.

It is also wise to ensure rent increases abide by the Fair Housing Act and do not discriminate based on protected characteristics (race, religion, etc.).

#4: Evictions

Evictions may occur as a result of non-payment, lease violations, or other reasons. Landlords should follow proper eviction procedures.

Proactive communication and adherence to legal guidelines can better ensure landlords find success in these investments while also protecting them from potential liability if the tenant pursues a legal dispute.

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