Easy-to-use Texas rental application forms

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A Texas rental application is a form that prospective renters use to apply for a rental property and typically asks for an applicant’s personal information, rental history, financial statements, and references from employers or former landlords. While there are general compliance requirements for any rental application, landlords must also consider specific Texas rental application laws.

Texas rental application laws

Texas laws governing tenant screening and rental applications protect tenants from discrimination and ensure fair and equal access to rental housing. Informational only; not legal advice.

  • Discrimination laws: Texas law prohibits landlords from discriminating against potential tenants based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, or disability. Texas Fair Housing Act (Texas Property Code § 301.021).
  • Credit checks: Landlords in Texas may conduct credit checks on potential tenants, but they must obtain written consent from the tenant before doing so. The landlord must provide a copy of the credit report to the tenant if requested. Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S. Code § 1681).
  • Criminal background checks: Subject to local laws, in Texas, landlords are permitted to conduct criminal background checks on potential tenants.
  • Application fees: Landlords in Texas are not limited in how much they may charge as application fees Texas Property Code (§92.351).
  • Tenant screening criteria: At “the time an applicant is provided with a rental application, the landlord shall make available to the applicant printed notice of the landlord’s tenant selection criteria and the grounds for which the rental application may be denied.” This does not mean that landlords need to provide their criteria with every application but that they have to have a copy of their selection criteria available if an applicant requests it. Texas Property Code (§92.3515).
  • Fair Housing Act: Landlords in Texas must comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

In addition, some cities in Texas have their own fair housing ordinances that may provide additional protections for tenants.

This is not an exhaustive list of laws and regulations that govern tenant screening and rental applications in Texas. Consult with a licensed attorney to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

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