This legal research guide provides information about landlord and tenant law that is helpful to both the practitioner and the public looking for legal information.
Last Updated: Jan 12, 2015
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Below are some eBook titles that may help you with your research.
Know Your Rights!
Call Number: KFT 387 A4 2010
Publication Date: 2010
Richard Alderman is a University of Houston law professor who answers legal questions on the website, The People's Lawyer. This book is a compilation of some of the more popular questions and their plain English answers. The focus is primarily consumer law, covering topics such as applying for credit, contracts, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, online sales, small claims court, family law, immigration, warranties, landlord and tenant law, and wills and probate.
Texas litigation guide
Call Number: KF 170 D6
Publication Date: 2014
This comprehensive set explains the law and procedure in a given area and then provides drafting guides to prepare the forms. The set is divided into 10 different units: Pretrial Practice, Trial Practice, Appellate Practice, Pleadings in Business Entity Litigation, Pleadings in Commercial Litigation, Pleadings in Real Estate Litigation, Pleadings in Personal Injury Litigation, Family Code Litigation, Probate Code Litigation, and Administrative Proceedings. Chapters are divided into four parts: legal background on a topic, a drafting guide, forms, and a research guide.
Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.
Every landlord's legal guide
Call Number: KF 590 Z9 S74 2012
Publication Date: 2012
This book from Nolo is intended to help landlords with legal issues, including screening tenants, leases, security deposits, sublets, the landlord’s duty to repair, right of entry, and evictions. Also available is a CD-ROM from the 9th edition containing forms. Remote access to chapters from the current edition is available from the Legal Reference Center Database. See Electronic Databases
Every tenant's legal guide
Call Number: KF 590 Z9 P67 2012
Publication Date: 2012
This book from Nolo is intended to help tenants with legal issues including leases, security deposits, discrimination, inspecting a rental unit, roommates, repairs and maintenance, improvements and alterations, privacy, crime, and ending a tenancy. Remote access to chapters from the current edition is available from the Legal Reference Center Database. See Electronic Databases
Landlord's legal guide in Texas
Call Number: REF DESK KFT 586 T78 2006
Publication Date: 2006
This title provides a plain English information on the Texas laws on renting properties for Texas landlords. Chapters cover a wide range of topics including selecting tenants, types of tenancies, leases, security deposits, repairs, smoke detectors, retaliation, and evictions.
Leases and rental agreements
Call Number: KF 590 Z9 S744 2005
Publication Date: 2005
This title from Nolo provides plain English information on leases and rental agreements. Chapters cover preparing leases, choosing tenants, getting tenants moved in, and ending a tenancy. Appendices cover topics such as landlord/tenant statutes, rent rules, security deposit rules, and landlord’s access to the property for each state. Also available are several different types of fill-in-the-blank rental forms. Remote access to chapters from the current edition is available from the Legal Reference Center Database. See Electronic Databases
Texas real estate law
Call Number: KFT 570 J32 2009
Publication Date: 2009
This title is a textbook dealing with Texas real estate law. It covers many of the intersections between real estate and Texas law. Chapter 18 specifically discusses the landlord and tenant relationship. Please note that the library has the 10th edition of this title. An 11th edition was published in 2013.
This guide was created in order to provide information about Texas landlord/tenant law. Links to the Property Code plus plain English information about the law are provided. The Practice Aids tab provides a list of State Law Library resources that may be useful to practitioners looking for additional information on landlord/tenant law.
Below you will find references to areas of the Texas Property Code that govern rental properties and issues related to landlord/tenant law. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to look at the "plain English" resources on this page or speak to an attorney.
Because Texas and federal law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."
- Fact sheets
Fact sheets from the Austin Tenants' Council provide very helpful information on a wide variety of topics including application fees and procedures, credit rights, evictions, filing in small claims court, foreclosures, landlord's entry, lockouts, paying rent, renting myths, repairs, and utilities.
- Landlord/tenant law
Texas Law Help provides plain English explanations of Texas law. The Landlord/Tenant section of their website provides information on a variety of landlord-tenant law issues such as application deposits, housing discrimination, fair housing, forming tenant associations, house rules, a self-help repair packet, and information on landlord's liens.
- Landlords and Tenants Guide [PDF]
This report from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University was last revised in January 2014. It explains in everyday language the sections of the Texas Property Code dealing with landlord/tenant law. Specific sections cover the residential landlord's responsibility and liability for repairs, retaliation, the rental application, evictions, security deposits, lockouts, smoke alarms, utility cutoffs, and many other topics. A hard copy of this report is available at the State Law Library.
- Renting a Home
This page from the American Bar Association provides generalized information on renting a home. Specific sections cover leases, "lease clauses to consider," evictions, security deposits, fair housing, and where to go for more help.
- Know Your Rights as a Tenant in Texas
The Texan Tenant Advisor has information on a variety of landlord/tenant topics including deposits, discrimination, eviction, late fees, lease, privacy, and more.
- Landlord and Tenant Rights
Richard Alderman is a University of Houston law professor who answers legal questions on the website The People's Lawyer
. This page discusses tenants' rights in general covering the entire tenancy from selecting a place to moving out.
- Tenant Rights
This page from the Texas Attorney General provides information on tenant rights including peace and quiet, health and safety, security, and what to do if you have problems. It provides links to AG columns, consumer alerts, and other useful pages.
- The Tenants’ Rights Handbook [PDF]
This pamphlet from the State Bar of Texas and Texas Young Lawyers Association provides an easy to understand overview of tenants' rights at all stages of the rental process from selecting a rental to termination and move out.
- Your Rights When You Haven’t Paid Your Rent
This page from the People's Lawyer provides a plain English discussion of tenants' rights when the rent has not been paid. The information is organized in a convenient question and answer format.
- The Eviction Process
The Austin Tenants' Council outlines the eviction process in detail.
The Texas Tenant Advisor outlines each step of the eviction process. They also include legal forms one may be able to use if they are involved in an eviction lawsuit.
- Eviction Appeal Information and Forms
This website from the Travis County Law Library has eviction information and forms for tenants and landlords.
- Eviction Steps
This website from the Travis County Justices of the Peace courts provides a detailed list of the steps for eviction.
- TexasLawHelp.org on Eviction
TexasLawHelp.org provides plain English explanations of Texas law. The eviction section of their website provides information on defenses against eviction, eviction appeals, mobile home park eviction, eviction protections after a foreclosure, evictions in Justice of the Peace courts, and retaliation.
- Austin Tenants' Council
The Austin Tenants' Council provides telephone counseling, mediation services, in-house counseling, housing discrimination assistance, and lease forms. Please note that eligibility for some of these services is limited to Travis County residents who meet certain income requirements. Their website has resources that are helpful to all Texans looking for information on landlord/tenant law.
- Tenant's Council of Houston
The Tenants' Council of Houston provides an email address for tenants needing assistance. They also link to the Texas statutes related to the Texas Tenants' Bill of Rights as well as phone numbers to organizations that may provide assistance.
- Texas Tenants' Union (Dallas)
The Texas Tenants' Union in Dallas provides free weekly tenants' rights workshops, organizing assistance, counseling, training, and referrals. Their website also provides specific information for HUD tenants.
- Housing Crisis Center (Dallas)
The Housing Crisis Center provides many different programs for residential tenants aimed at preventing homelessness including a hotline and legal clinics. Contact them for additional information.
- Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio
This non-profit organization serves the San Antonio area as well as many other counties -- including the Rio Grande Valley -- in south Texas. Their main office is in San Antonio, and they also have a field office in McAllen. The information on their site is available in English and Spanish.
- Texas Tenant Advisor
The Texas Low Income Housing Information Service does not provide individual assistance to tenants but their website does provide information on tenants' rights, how to fight back, and prevention. The site also provides links to tenant and legal aid organizations.
The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.
Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.
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