A Texas rental application is a form that landlords or property management companies use to find the right tenant for a rental property. The application helps potential tenants present their personal and financial information in an organized way for the landlord's approval. Landlords sometimes ask for a non-refundable fee and typically respond to the application within one or two days. If the tenant is approved, they will be given a lease agreement to sign.
RentSpree makes this process fast, easy and safe for landlords and renters. You'll find everything from an online rental application and tenant screening to renters insurance and insurance verification.
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 et seq.).
- 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: In Texas, landlords are allowed to conduct criminal background checks on potential tenants. However, landlords must comply with certain restrictions on the type of information that can be considered. For example, landlords cannot consider arrests that did not lead to a conviction or expunged records. Texas Property Code (§92.025).
- Application fees: Landlords in Texas are allowed to charge application fees to potential tenants, but the fee must be reasonable and not exceed the actual cost of screening the tenant. The landlord must provide a receipt for the fee and disclose the screening criteria used. Texas Property Code (§92.351).
- Tenant screening criteria: Landlords in Texas must have written screening criteria that are applied consistently to all potential tenants. The criteria must be based on legitimate business reasons, such as credit history, income, and rental history. Texas Property Code (§92.351).
- Fair housing: Landlords in Texas must comply with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. Federal Fair Housing Act (42 U.S. Code § 3601).
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.