When a landlord and tenant enter into an arrangement, some rights are protected for both parties.
One of the basic rights enjoyed by tenants is the right to privacy, limiting the access that a landlord has to a property while the tenant lives there. Although these rights do vary by State laws, every state allows for a few basic protections.
About half of the States do not outline specific statutes addressing a tenant’s privacy, and Texas is among these. However, Texas Courts have upheld that a landlord’s entry must be authorized by the tenant. Many times, guidelines are included in the lease agreement. a Lease can include a wide range of scenarios that allow a landlord access to a unit, ranging from addressing excessive noise to showing the unit to prospective tenants. If the issue is not addressed in the lease, there are only limited times in which a landlord can enter a property.
Landlords can access a property when:
- Repairs are requested by the tenant
- There is an emergency inside the unit
- The landlord is posting or delivering a notice or enforcing an eviction
Even in a scenario included in the lease, a landlord may be required to provide 24 hours notice before entering the unit. Unless otherwise stated in the lease, a tenant can deny the landlord access in some cases. A tenant is not required to provide a copy of a key or the code to an alarm system to the landlord unless the lease specifically says otherwise.
The most important aspect of understanding the rights of a tenant is to fully examine the lease agreement. Reading the lease before signing it and reviewing the inclusion of landlord access guidelines can prevent any situations in which the tenants does not feel comfortable. If a landlord should violate the agreement or basic rights established in Texas courts, the tenant may submit a written objection and file suit over the violation if the offense was serious.
Understanding the agreement of a tenant’s rights and a landlord’s rights can help prevent any issues or confusion during a renting arrangement. If you have any question about your rights or concerns about a landlord entering your rented property, you can consult your lease or contact an experienced property management professional.