One of the largest areas of disputes arises from landlord and tenant situations. Most people do not know what their rights regarding their rental lease. First of all, it is important to have a written lease. Under the Statute of Frauds, a writing is required if the lease if for one or more years.

Second, both landlords and tenants have rights and duties owed to one another. In general, landlords cannot interfere with the tenants’ rights to enjoy the property. Landlords must give the tenant notice before beginning an eviction process. That notice must be within the same timeframe of the rental period. For instance, if the tenant rents on a month to month basis, Texas law requires that the land lord give the tenant at least on month notice before beginning the eviction process. Landlords generally cannot evict a tenant unless the tenant has breached the contract.

However, tenants must also have responsibility to pay their rent on time, mitigate damages when problems arise and respect the property. Landlords can evict tenants, among other things, if they breach the contract or do not pay rent. This ability to evict is premised upon the fact that most landlords reserve the right of entry in their lease agreement. This allows them to terminate the lease if the tenant breaches any of the lease’s covenants. Therefore, if you are renting or contemplating renting make sure to read the lease in order to have a better understanding of your rights as a tenant. If you are having problems with your rental lease or any area of landlord and tenant law, contact the Harris County Bar Association for a lawyer referral.

Ashley Spencer is a licensed attorney with The Spencer Law Firm.  The information in this blog is not intended as legal advice but to provide a general understanding of this legal subject. Readers with legal problems should consult an attorney for advice on their particular situation. The Harris County Bar Association may refer you to an attorney for legal consultation. Please email or call the Harris County Bar Association at (713) 236-8000.

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