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Texas Tenant Security Deposit

Updated on October 31, 2012

Right to a Refund

In Texas, if a tenant leaves their residence in good condition and fulfills all their lease obligations their security deposit must be fully refunded by the landlord. However, under TX Property Code §92.107, the right to a refund does not arise until the tenant provides the landlord with a written statement of the tenant’s forwarding address. This means that the landlord is under no obligation to refund the security deposit until the forwarding address is received. Although this requirement seems harsh, it makes sense because without a forwarding address the landlord would not know where to send a refund. Luckily, there is no specific deadline for providing a forwarding address so the tenant does not waive their right to refund if they wait too long. Once these requirements are met, TX Property Code §92.103 requires the landlord to refund the tenant’s security deposit within 30 days after the tenant vacates the residence.

Deposit Deductions

The landlord may not deduct any amount from the deposit to cover normal wear and tear, including basic cleaning done to prepare the residence for future tenants. The deposit may only be deducted to cover damages caused by the tenant. If the landlord intends on withholding any amount for damages, TX Property Code §92. 104 requires that he provide the tenant with an itemized list of repairs showing how much is being charged for each repair. If the landlord fails to provide the tenant with such a list he loses his right to withhold any portion of the deposit and may no longer bring suit against the tenant for damages.

Tenant Remedies

The tenant may file suit against the landlord for wrongfully withholding any portion of the security deposit. Under TX Property Code §92.109, If the court rules in the tenant’s favor, the landlord will be liable to the tenant for three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld plus $100, and the tenant’s attorneys’ fees.

Disclaimer

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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