Tenant’s Rights Regarding Pets in Texas: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

As a tenant in Texas, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to having pets in your rental property. While Texas law does not specifically address the issue of pets in rental properties, there are general rules and guidelines that apply. This article will delve into the key aspects of tenant’s rights regarding pets in Texas, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of what you need to know.

Understanding Your Lease Agreement

First and foremost, your lease agreement is the primary document that outlines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, including those related to pets. Some landlords may not allow pets at all, while others may require a pet deposit or additional monthly rent. It’s crucial to read and understand your lease agreement before bringing a pet into your rental property.

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

Under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, which includes allowing service animals and emotional support animals, regardless of the property’s pet policy. However, the tenant must provide documentation proving the necessity of the animal for their disability.

Pet Deposits and Fees

In Texas, landlords can charge a pet deposit in addition to the security deposit. This is to cover any potential damage caused by the pet. The amount of the pet deposit is usually determined by the landlord and can vary widely. Additionally, landlords can also charge a non-refundable pet fee or additional monthly pet rent.

Responsibility for Pet Behavior

As a tenant, you are responsible for the behavior of your pet. If your pet causes damage to the property or disturbs other tenants, you could be held liable. It’s important to ensure your pet is well-behaved and does not cause any issues.

What Happens If You Violate the Pet Policy?

If you violate the pet policy outlined in your lease agreement, your landlord may have the right to evict you. However, they must provide you with a written notice and give you a chance to remedy the situation. If you fail to do so, they can proceed with the eviction process.

In conclusion, while Texas law does not specifically address pets in rental properties, your lease agreement and federal laws provide guidelines on this matter. As a tenant, it’s crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding pets to avoid any potential issues. Always read and understand your lease agreement, and when in doubt, consult with a legal professional.