Are you planning to rent a home in Texas? Moving to the Lone Star State can be an exciting one. But if you have never lived here before, there are some things you will need to know before renting. Here are four things you should learn about first.
Landlords Must Offer Safe and Sanitary Property
When you are a renter in Texas, you have certain rights. One of these rights includes enjoying a safe and sanitary home. If you move into a property and discover that there are repairs that need to be completed, your landlord must do this for you. For example, if you need hot water or you discover mold, they are obligated to take care of the problem.
However, know the rules in place in Texas regarding these repairs. For instance, some states allow you to withhold your rent so that they are fixed. However, this is not the case in Texas. You are not allowed to withhold your rent and you must ensure that it is paid on time to your landlord. If you do this, you could end up being evicted. The best thing you can do is contact your landlord in writing. Allow them time to respond before contacting a local tenant rights organization.
It Is Best to Invest in Insurance
Do you have renters insurance Texas? While there is no obligation to have a policy, this is one of the best investments that you can make when you are moving home. Unfortunately, only 40 percent of renters currently have insurance, which can lead to a lot of financial trouble later on.
For example, if a disaster happens, such as a fire or there is extreme weather, there can be damage to the property and your personal belongings. If you have an insurance policy, this can cover the damage you have endured. However, without one, you will be left with no belongings and a lot of trouble. Plus, if you have to move out of the property for a while, the expenses of a hotel are not going to be reimbursed to you. But they would be if you had renter’s insurance.
Having a policy is going to protect you in other situations too. For instance, say your kids cause damage, your dog bites someone or a person is injured in the property. Your policy is going to cover you for any legal fees and damage. It can give you peace of mind when you are moving somewhere new in Texas.
Always Check Your Rental Agreement
It doesn’t matter where you decide to rent in Texas, you should always be presented with a rental agreement. This is going to detail all of the important information to do with your property, as well as outline your rights as a tenant and the responsibilities you have. You should always read this over thoroughly and be acquainted with it. For instance, you are going to know the exact amount of rent that is due and the date it needs to be paid by. You should also have a lease time period and know when it is going to expire. If you have made a deposit, this will be noted, as well as any fees to pay.
Sometimes, house rules will be provided in your rental agreement. But if they are not, it is best to ask your landlord for them in writing. This way, you know what your landlord expects from you and you can make sure you are always following the rules. For example, this could include their pet policy and any visitor policies they have regarding the property and when you are living there.
There is no Rent Control
In some cities around the country, such as San Francisco and New York City, rent control is in place in order to keep rental rates at an appropriate level. In other words, it is in place in order to stop landlords from asking for extortionate amounts of rent that do not fit in with the demographic or neighborhood.
But you should be aware that the state of Texas does not allow rent control in any city or county. This means that you will have to do your own research to ensure that the property you want to rent is worth paying this figure each month. You should also be prepared that your rent could go up and down when your contract is finished and you are looking to renew your lease.