1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

What exactly does a rental contract accomplish? Making a Lease

Discussion in 'Rental Agreements & Subleases' started by Texas6023, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Texas6023

    Texas6023 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    I understand I can keep deposit for damages or misplaced items that aren't in place when tenants move out. Buut... Can the landlord cover themselves with liabilities if it's written on the contract? Such as damages to vehicles from falling limbs? Accidents on premises? Or is that part of the landlord responsibility by purchasing insurance? Or making tenant purchase renters insurance...

    And what if there is more damages than the deposit will cover? For example I just spent 3900 carpeting the house and I'm putting on contract no animals but in case tenants try to sneak in a pet like most do and ruin carpeting.. What can be done? Taking someone to court doesn't guarantee payment but it doesn't guarantee loss of time and definitely a headache.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    9,260
    Likes Received:
    3,016
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You need a bigger education in being a landlord than we can give you here so I'm going to give you some reference material to study.

    1 - The Texas landlord tenant statute. This is your bible. Know it well.

    2015 Texas Statutes :: PROPERTY CODE :: TITLE 8 - LANDLORD AND TENANT :: CHAPTER 92 - RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES

    2 - This is the basic eviction statute should you ever need it.

    2015 Texas Statutes :: PROPERTY CODE :: TITLE 4 - ACTIONS AND REMEDIES :: CHAPTER 24 - FORCIBLE ENTRY AND DETAINER

    3 - There are many samples of residential leases on line. Look at a lot of them to see how the pros write them. Then fashion your own lease to do what you want it to do.

    texas residental lease at DuckDuckGo

    4 - Here's a sample lease application form from the Texas Association of Realtors.

    http://www.thebranchteam.com/residential_lease_application.pdf

    You'll find others online. Use what's is useful to you.

    5 - Here's plenty of information on landlord's liability insurance. Study it well. Then go buy some. Most insurance companies will write a combination fire insurance and liability insurance on your property.

    landlord liability insurance at DuckDuckGo

    6 - This may seem silly, but I searched "How to be a landlord in Texas" and came up with a bunch of links that you should check out.

    how to be a landlord in texas at DuckDuckGo

    Being a landlord is a financially risky business and I can tell you from my own experience as a landlord that you are guaranteed to get burned by a tenant at some point and it will cost you a lot of money. The longer you are at it, the sooner it will happen.

    Frankly, if you put $3900 into just carpet, I suggest you just sell the place and give up the idea of being a landlord. That carpet won't last more than a year or two unless you are lucky enough to find The Perfect Tenant. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning before that every happens.

    Good luck.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.
  3. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,173
    Likes Received:
    622
    Trophy Points:
    113

    There are many costs you can pass onto the tenant. I had a client who had something called a "triple net lease" where many real estate costs are passed onto the tenant. But with all of these costs and responsibilities passed onto the tenant, the rental price drops considerably. And none of that will act as a guarantee that a tenant won't do something to break the lease and magically enable you to easily recover your costs. This is why some landlords require greater than one month's deposit. Some will require two or even three months deposit. And most leases I have seen will provide a right for the landlord to inspect the premises. This is how you can protect your investment. But as @adjusterjack says, if you're putting $3,900 into carpeting the place you should question why you're doing this instead of having the tenant place down a rug (as many buildings require a surface area to be covered.)
     
  4. Texas6023

    Texas6023 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Yes yes I understand. I actually increased rent price because I added the extras. But in a way I was below what the potential rent value was if I would have left as is. Carpet was an investment in my own investment. So it's all risk to some degree. But for carpeting 6 rooms and 3 closets and not having to physically do it myself was a darn good price if I must admit it... Besides there was no flooring other than subfloor... And have a better chance of finding a good tenant. But of course. We live to learn. Isn't that the beauty of it all?
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    9,260
    Likes Received:
    3,016
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Yes, but it's wise to learn to lock the barn door BEFORE the horse gets stolen.
     
  6. Texas6023

    Texas6023 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I smell what you're stepping in adjuster jack. Good advice and I sure appreciate it. I will stress the importance of the new carpet and make sure they know ruining it will jeopardize the deposit. Just trying to give a little back instead of take take take....



     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    9,260
    Likes Received:
    3,016
    Trophy Points:
    113

    One thing I had in my leases that you might consider is a provision that I, personally, picked up the rent at the rental location every month on the due date. I would make an appointment a couple of days in advance and make no mention of inspection but I was typically inviting in or asked to be invited because I had my receipt book with me. While in the house, a quick look-see would let me know if there was anything alarming to address and I would also ask if there was anything to report about needed repairs or conditions of concern.

    I also carried my prepared "pay or quit" notices with me in case they didn't have the rent money and started with the excuses.
     
  8. Texas6023

    Texas6023 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I hear you. Well this is my more costly rental home. I have another one that due to location I didn't do much updating. But from past experiences tenants have always tried to bring in more occupants to help with rent. Which is clearly specified in contract who is to occupy residence but I don't become aware of it until I see the same person hanging around for a couple months.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    9,260
    Likes Received:
    3,016
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Which is why, for an upscale, high rent, house, you screen your prospects carefully and make sure you rent to a professional couple or family who make enough money to afford the place on their own.

    Contracts are only as good as the people who sign them.

    Yes, there's that.
     

Share This Page