If you are a landlord leasing residential property, you must file a Texas Rental Application Form. This document is necessary to verify both the credibility and eligibility of any potential tenants.
Last Update October 19th, 2021
What is a Texas Residential Rental Application
A Texas Residential Rental Application is used by landlords to determine the reliability of prospective renters. This legal form helps you to understand whether the tenant will be able to pay rent in a timely manner.
The document is also known as a “tenant application,” “rental lease application,” “lease application,” or an “application for rental property”. Each renter over 18 that will occupy the residence must complete their own individual tenant form.
It generally requires the applicant to include relevant information such as their personal background and employment history. And if the landlord deems the applicant to be a valid renter, the rental process will most likely move forward.
Texas Rental Applications by Type
There are two main types of rental applications in Texas. You must select the most relevant one depending on the type of property being rented, local laws, and the type of leasing agreement that will be used.
Standard/General Texas Rental Application
The most common type of vetting document used by TX landlords is the Texas Standard Rental Application. This form can be customized according to the specific necessities of the property owner or manager.
Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) Rental Application
Landlords of low-income tenants or those offering Section 8 Housing should use a HUD rental application. It is specifically designed to only include information that is allowed under subsidized housing rules.
What to Include in a Texas Rental Application Form
When writing a Texas Rental Application Form, you’ll need to ask for a variety of important data to ensure an effective screening process before signing a contract with the tenant:
Name and address
Permission for background checks
Additionally, as a landlord, you must provide crucial disclosures on the application form. This generally includes:
The property’s condition
Potential hazards to the tenant
Shared utility arrangements
Rent control rules
The security deposit
Texas Rental Application Laws
Texas state has various laws regarding the use of rental applications. If your document is not compliant with Texas law, you may get sued by the applicant and face legal consequences.
The following Texas application laws are in effect regarding the application screening process:
This law states that there is no limit in terms of what application fee can be charged by Texas landlords. Furthermore, the application fee is non-refundable regardless of its amount.
Similar to the application fee law, there is no Texas statute defining a limit on the amount landlords can charge tenants for security deposits. There is also no requirement for the provision of receipts or holding requirements. However, the landlord is obligated to keep valid records of any security deposits they are sent.
Housing Dismicination Law
In Texas, there is no specific state law relating to housing discrimination. However, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is in place. The FHA states that it is illegal to discriminate based on the following characteristics:
As a consequence, it is not allowed to ask for any of these terms on a Texas Rental Application form nor to include them in the decision-making process.
Notice of Eligibility
Potential tenants must be informed about the screening criteria and reasons for denial or approval. To prove that these facts were shared, a signature of acknowledgment must be provided within the application or alongside it.
Consent Credit Check
Within Texas, a federal law is in effect that requires potential renters to provide written consent for a credit history check during the application process. This is known as the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Rental Application FAQs
How to Fill Out a Texas Rental Application?
To ensure an accurate screening process, you must request the right data from your prospective tenants. On the TX Rental Lease Application form you can request any of the following information:
Name and address
Permission for background checks
Why Do I Need a Texas Rental Application?
A TX lease application form is an essential part of the pre-screening process for potential tenants. As a landlord, this document helps you gather the necessary information to make an informed decision about a potential renter.
What Are Credit References on a Texas Rental Application
Credit references on a rental lease application are people or businesses that have had financial relationships with or given credit to a tenant. Common examples include credit card companies, local banks, or investment firms.
What Cannot Be Asked in Rental Application Within Texas?
Under both state and federal law, certain data cannot be collected from your tenants in a rental application form. If you attempt to collect this information you run the risk of being sued for discrimination by the applicant.
The following data cannot be inquired about on an application for a rental property in Texas: