What Type of Security is a Texas Landlord Required to Provide its Tenants
Security Devices Required by Statute
Under TX Property Code §92.153, Texas landlords must equip their rental properties with locking mechanisms on all exterior windows, exterior doors and exterior sliding glass doors. Specifically, TX Property Code §92.153 requires a landlord to equip a tenant’s residence with the following security devices:
- A window latch on each exterior window
- A doorknob lock or keyed deadbolt on each exterior door; One exception to this requirement is if the parties agree in the lease that only one exterior door must have a keyed lock. For this exception to apply, the agreed upon exterior door must have both a doorknob lock AND a keyed deadbolt. All other exteriors would only require keyless bolting devices (locks that can only be unlocked from the inside).
- A sliding glass door pin lock or a sliding door security bar on each exterior sliding glass door
- A keyless bolting device (lock that can only be unlocked from the inside); One exception to this requirement is if the tenant is over 55 years old or has a mental or physical disability which makes it difficult to use a keyless deadbolt. In these cases, the parties may agree in the lease that no such device is required. However, for this exception to apply, the lease must also include a provision which either requires or permits the landlord to periodically check in on the tenant.
- Door viewer on each exterior door
A tenant’s rights with respect to the security devices described above cannot be waived. Any provision attempting to do so will be deemed void. More importantly, TX Property Code §92.153 requires that all such devices be provided to the tenant at the landlord’s expense. If the tenant wants to remove, rekey, replace, or alter a required device, TX Property Code §92.163 requires that he or she first obtain their landlord’s consent.
Security Devices Requested by Tenant
The majority of security-related disputes deal with requests made by a tenant which are not required by law and which are not addressed in the lease. In such a case, the landlord is not obligated to permit installation of the requested device. However, if installation would not substantially alter the property, it may be in the landlord’s best interest to permit the tenant to install the advice at the tenant’s own expense. In this way the tenant is satisfied, the property is better protected, and it wouldn’t cost the landlord a dime.
It should be noted that TX Property Code §92.157 also lists several specific security devices (most are locking mechanisms for doors and windows) which a tenant may request to be installed at the tenant’s expense. If the tenant requests a device from this list, the landlord must permit the tenant to install it. All other requests are discretionary.
The information in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice. The information provided is not intended to create, and viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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