Renters Agreements - How Do They Differ Between Texas and California?
Getting the right terms on your rental agreement, so that all
your rights are protected, is one of the most important things
you can do. However, if you're moving to a new state, you might
have trouble with finding out what the local and state laws require.
Renters' rights are different in every state and in many towns,
so a little research might be required. Here are some ways that
the legal details of renters' agreements vary between Texas and
In Texas, your rights as a renter include the right to quiet enjoyment
of your home. This means that the landlord cannot expose you to
excessive noise, or to routine life disturbances, including wrongful
or routine eviction, other tenants' wrongful behavior, interrupted
utilities, and other problems. You also have a right to health
and safety under Texas law. Your landlord must repair any condition
that could affect your health or safety. By renting the property,
your landlord is guaranteeing that your dwelling is fit to live
in. However, the landlord does not have to make repairs to damage
caused by you or a guest. The law requires that smoke detectors
must be provided by the landlord, and that you must not disable
or remove the device. Additionally, in Texas, you are considered
to have a right to security. A dwelling has to be equipped with
security devices, which may include window latches, deadbolts,
sliding door pin locks, and handle latches, and door peepholes.
The landlord is responsible for the expense of installing them,
and you have the right to request repair or installation if such
devices are broken or missing.
In California, the details of your renters' rights, which will
affect your rental agreement, are a little different. It is, for
instance, illegal for a landlord to use different standards for
financial income requirements for married people who want to live
together versus single people who want to live together. It is
also illegal to discriminate against families when renting a unit.
Like Texas, California has an implied warranty of habitability,
meaning that a landlord must maintain the facilities in a livable
condition if they are being rented. (But you will need to get some renters insurance quotes to make sure that your belongings are covered)
This means that the landlord
is responsible for repairs to defects in the rental unit, but also
that tenants must take reasonable care of their rental units. This
includes making sure that the unit is kept clean and reasonably
undamaged. The repair and deduct law permits a tenant in California
to deduct money from their rent, up to the amount of one months
rent, for repair of problems in the rental unit that they have
paid for. Only repairs to substandard conditions that affect the
tenant's health and safety are covered under this provision. This
is helpful because it allows repairs to be made without filing
a suit against the landlord. However, it is important that the
repairs being made qualify, and have not been made by the tenant,
guests, or the family or pets of the tenant.