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?
Texas Rent Increase Laws Bottom Line
There is no statewide rent increase limit in Texas, which means landlords are legally allowed to raise the rent as much as they like. Tenants can renegotiate or find other housing, 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.
There is no maximum rent increase in Texas since Texas has no rent control laws. Landlords can raise the rent as much as they like. Even though the Texas state government has not set a maximum rent increase limit, that doesn’t mean landlords are allowed to increase rents however and whenever they want. If a landlord raises the rent, they must notify the tenant and allow them to accept the increase or find alternative housing. If the landlord raises the rent too much, the tenant can always choose to move elsewhere if the rent is cheaper. So, the market, not the government, determines the maximum rent increase in Texas.
A landlord can increase rent at the end of any lease term. No rent control laws exist in Texas, so there is no set period during which a landlord cannot increase the rent. Yet, a lease is a legally binding contract, and the landlord must abide by the terms, including the set monthly rent. But any time a lease expires, the landlord can raise the rent as much as they like and allow the tenant the chance to renew at the new rate. So, if the lease is for two years, the landlord can only raise the rent every two years, but if it’s a month-to-month lease, they can raise it every 30 days if they so choose.
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.
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.
Why 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.
Since Texas has no rent control laws, rent increases in the state are left up to the landlord. Texas landlords can increase the rent by as much as they want. But as a tenant, you always have the right to negotiate. If the landlord requests an increase that you think is unfair, you can make a counteroffer and plead your case. But if you cannot reach an agreement, you have no option except to look for other housing. So, if your lease is set to expire, you may want to have a conversation with your landlord and find out how much they’re planning on raising the rent so that you can plan accordingly.