Most disagreements between residents and rental housing owners or managers occur because of misunderstandings about the obligations taken on by each party when an apartment or other rental housing is leased.
The best ways to avoid problems are to:
- Read your lease carefully before signing.
- Ask questions about anything that is unclear.
- Put everything in writing, including agreements, notices, and requests.
Keep a copy of the lease signed by you and the owner or manager, as well as any community policies or rules. Under Texas law, you have a right to receive a copy of your lease.
Make a checklist of the condition of the property and any furnishings when you move in. (Most properties will provide you with an inventory and condition form). Sign it, have the manager sign it and keep a copy. This will be helpful if there is a dispute over deductions for repairs when you move out.
Keep your rent payment current. Even if you have a dispute, you should not withhold rent since that could make you subject to eviction.
If you have general questions or need some basic guidance:
- Contact the AASET office for more information and referrals to other sources of local assistance.
- Read TAA’s Residents, Rental Housing, and Texas Law brochure.