Texas Rent Increase Laws

By PropertyClub Team
May 9th 2024
In Texas, rent control laws are virtually non-existent, allowing landlords to raise rents without statewide restrictions. This article explores the state's approach to rental increases, highlighting that Texas doesn't impose a maximum limit on rent hikes. Instead, the market largely determines rental prices, as landlords are free to adjust rates at the end of a lease term.

Although cities can temporarily regulate rent under specific circumstances like a declared emergency, they must receive approval from the governor first.

The lack of regulations on notice periods or frequency of increases means tenants should closely review lease terms and negotiate rent rates as needed. Ultimately, Texas prioritizes market-driven rent practices over government regulation, believing this approach benefits both landlords and tenants.

hash-markTable of Contents

Does Texas Have Rent Increase Laws?
What Is the Maximum Rent Increase allowed in Texas?
When Can Landlords Increase Rent in Texas?
How Much Notice Is Required When Raising Rent in Texas?
Are There Any Cities in Texas That Have Rent Control?
Why Does Texas Not Have Rent Control?
Texas Rent Increase Laws Bottom Line

hash-markDoes Texas Have Rent Increase Laws?

No, Texas has no rent increase laws. This means landlords in Texas are legally allowed to raise the rent as much as they like. Tenants can renegotiate or find other housing if they don't want to pay the increased rental amount, but no legislation limits how much landlords can charge in rent.

The state legislature permits individual cities to enact temporary rent control measures only if a state of emergency has been declared, which has caused a housing emergency. Before the ordinance can go into effect, it must be approved by the governor. Otherwise, local governments are not permitted to enact any rent control legislation.

hash-markWhat Is the Maximum Rent Increase Allowed in Texas?

Landlords in Texas can raise the rent as much as they like. There are no rent control laws limiting rent increases in Texas, so landlords have the freedom to raise rents as much as they wish.

However, this doesn't mean they can increase rents arbitrarily or without notice. Landlords must inform tenants of any rent hike, giving them the choice to accept it or seek alternative housing. If the rent becomes too high, tenants can choose to relocate to more affordable options. In Texas, it's the market, not government regulation, that ultimately dictates rent prices

hash-markWhen Can Landlords Increase Rent in Texas

A landlord can raise the rent at the end of any lease term. Since Texas has no rent control laws, there are no restrictions on when landlords can increase rents. However, a lease is a legally binding contract, so the landlord must adhere to its terms, including the agreed-upon monthly rent. Once a lease expires, the landlord can increase the rent to any amount and offer the tenant the option to renew at the new rate. For a two-year lease, the rent can only be raised every two years. For a month-to-month lease, the rent can be increased every 30 days if the landlord chooses.

hash-markHow Much Notice Is Required When Raising Rent in Texas?

No official laws on the books govern when and how much notice a landlord must give before raising the rent. But it’s typical for the landlord to provide at least 30 days’ notice so the tenant can make other arrangements if they decide not to renew.

Also, tenants should be aware that no laws govern how often landlords can increase rent or what they charge for late fees. They must abide by what is stated in the lease agreement – and the state requires landlords to only charge “reasonable fees.” But they are entirely within their rights to set the terms of the lease agreement, and it’s up to the tenant to decide if they are willing to accept those terms before they sign.

hash-markAre There Any Cities in Texas That Have Rent Control?

No, there are no cities in Texas that have rent control. Texas is a state that has what is called preemptive rent control. That means the state legislature prohibits rent regulation even at the local level unless the governor approves it during a state of emergency. Cities may only enact temporary rent control measures in the event of a housing crisis that presents a serious threat to the public. But individual cities are not permitted to decide that rent is too high for their citizens and enact rent controls locally.

hash-markWhy Does Texas Not Have Rent Control? 

Rent control is a controversial topic and is only permitted in a handful of states. Critics of rent control argue that it interferes with natural market trends and puts undue stress on landlords. It disincentivizes property investment because it makes it difficult for landlords to keep up with inflation and maintain the profitability of their rental.

As a result, it tends to limit housing stock and makes existing housing less desirable, which can negatively impact the people it intends to help. Texas, in particular, is a pro-business state; therefore, rent control goes against its political philosophy. In some areas where rents are exorbitantly high due to scarcity, like New York and San Francisco, some rent control may be needed to keep prices realistic. But Texas is a state with plenty of open land and available housing stock, so the government has found it better to let the market determine housing prices.

hash-markTexas Rent Increase Laws Bottom Line 

In summary, Texas maintains a market-driven approach to rent increases, allowing landlords the freedom to raise rents without statewide caps. Tenants should be aware of their lease terms and proactively negotiate with landlords when increases seem excessive or unfair. If negotiations fail, tenants must seek alternative housing options that align with their budget. Planning ahead and having open conversations with landlords can help tenants anticipate rent changes and make informed decisions about renewing or moving.