Things to know about Security Deposits in Texas!

In Texas, if you are a landlord, it’s significant to understand the security deposit laws that concern you. If you do not obey the proper steps, you could lose your legal right to retain a renter’s security deposit. Moreover to these state wide laws, you need also to verify with your local town or county to find out if there are extra laws that may apply.

In Texas, is there a maximum amount of security deposit that a landlord can impose?

There is no limitation to the security deposit that a landlord can impose to its tenant.

How should you keep the security deposit in Texas?

In the state of Texas, there aren’t any requirements on how a landlord should keep a security deposit.

Once you receive the security deposit, is a written note required in Texas?

No need for the landlord to issue an official receipt after he received the security deposit.

What are the reasons where  a landlord can store a renter’s security deposit?

In Texas,a landlord can only store a renter’s security deposit with the following reasons:

  • If there’s a breach of lease, specific fees are imposed
  • An excess damage of normal wear and tear
  • If a renter decides to ‘’ live-out’’ their security deposit as last month’s rent, the renter might be responsible to pay the landlord three times the amount and any of the landlord’s attorney fees.
  • If a renter failed to inform the landlord in advance that he/she is vacating the property and if its specified in the lease that a failure to provide an advanced notice will result in the tenant losing their right to the security deposit.

a. If the renter has breached their lease however obtains an ‘’excellent’’ replacement tenant who will move-in on or before the lease ends,       the renter will still be eligible to the return of their security deposit less any extra charges.
b. If an ‘’excellent” replacement tenant was obtained by the landlord and will move-in on or before the lease ends, the landlord can still subtract the expenses sustained from finding the replacement tenant including time consumed in this work. If the leasing agreement covered a lease cancellation fee, the landlord is still allowed to impose this fee to the renter.

In Texas, Is a walk-through inspection required?

Before a renter moves out, a walk through inspection is not required

When should you return a renter’s security deposit in Texas?

In the state of Texas, the landlord is given 30 days from the date the tenant moves-out to give the tenant’s security deposit back. An exception to this rule is if a renter had not given a forwarding address. In this scenario, a landlord doesn’t need to make an attempt to give back a security deposit until the tenant provides the landlord with his or her forwarding address.

If deductions has been made by the landlord to the renter’s security deposit, An itemized receipt shall be given to the renter indicating all the damages and repair cost that was deducted from the security deposit. However if a tenant owes the landlord rent at lease termination and there is no inconsistency regarding the amount of rent owed, the landlord is not obliged to include this list.

If a landlord decides to unlawfully withhold a tenant’s security deposit, the landlord might be held liable, three times the amount of deposit withheld in addition to the attorney fees. If the landlord does not give a written note of any damages for the portion of security withheld, the landlord loses the right to keep any of the security deposit and may have to pay any attorney fees the tenant sustained in trying to recover their deposit.

If you decide to sell your property, what happens to the security deposit?

If you sell your property or the property otherwise changes ownership, it’s your obligation to transfer the security deposits to the new owner. You will be responsible for these deposits until the new owner provides a signed written notice to the tenants telling them that they are now in possession of the security deposits and the accurate amount of security deposit received. Once this notice is provided, the new owner is solely accountable for the security deposits.


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Nick Walton
JP & Associates Realtors