The association between tenants and landlords can’t remain ungoverned because clashes are likely to occur sooner or later. In Texas, numerous statuses govern the conduct code between renters and landlords, including Chapter 92 of the Property Code.
The codes offer clear guidelines concerning the use of smoke alarms and security devices. Whether you realize it or not, the law requires a landlord to offer certain security measures on your behalf, including the installation of security devices.
If a landlord doesn’t comply with the codes associated with security, a renter can walk away legally from the rental. Here’s a list of security measures you’re entitled to.
Rekeying involves the changing of access cards, keys, or combination to the property. This applies to every exterior door that grants outsiders access to the interior of the property, irrespective of the locking mechanism.
The landlord must rekey all locks within 7 days after you move in and this should occur every time there’s a change.
Besides supplying functioning locks on all windows and doors, a Texas landlord should ensure he’s in compliance with specific height prerequisites in the case of deadbolt locks and sliding doors. For sliding doors, it depends whether the installation of the security bar or pin lock took place after September 1, 1993.
In the event that it took place before, the height requirement for the security bar or pin lock isn’t higher than 54 inches from the floor. However, if it occurred after this date, it shouldn’t be more than 48 inches from the floor.
On the same note, a keyless bolting device or keyed deadbolt shouldn’t be lower than 36 inches from the floor and it shouldn’t surpass 54 inches from the floor if it occurred before September 1, 1993. Moreover, the dead bolt’s throw shouldn’t be less than an inch.
A landlord might not require a renter to cover the replacement or repair of a lock or other security device in the event that it breaks due to ordinary wear and tear. However, a landlord may require you to cover the replacement or repair of a damaged lock due to misuse but only under a provision in a written agreement.
Unless your landlord fails to change, install, or re-key a lock in a timely manner after issuing the suitable notices and paying any necessary fee, you shouldn’t change, install, or re-key a lock without your landlord’s permission.
Texas Property Code delineates the prerequisites for the smoke alarms-the required number, where the placement should be, but they should generally be in each bedroom and at least one on each level if the dwelling has multiple levels.
Additionally, if the unit operated as a unit before September 1, 2011, any smoke alarms in the unit might be battery-powered and doesn’t have to be interconnected with other smoke alarms in the rental.
Obviously, the landlord has a responsibility to examine the smoke alarms in the rental to make sure they’re functional before the beginning of the lease.
If the renter requests an inspection of any smoke alarm, the landlord has a legal obligation to conduct the inspection, either by testing the button on the alarm or with smoke. If a renter or the renter’s guests destroy or damage the smoke alarm, the landlord should replace or fix it at the renter’s expense.
For battery-operated alarms, the landlord doesn’t need to provide batteries provided the equipment was in working condition at the start of the lease term.
Texas law offers renters basic rights to protect their security, safety, and health. Recognizing these rights can help you recognize the violation, and if necessary, take measures to defend yourself. If you’re a Texas renter, this guide offers insight into the security measures you’re entitled to.
For more information on Texas property code, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a message.