There are no state laws that prevent a landlord from increasing the rent by any amount once a lease term is up. If landlord raises the rent and the tenant wishes to renew, they might be able to negotiate the rent price with the landlord. If the landlord refuses, the tenant must either pay the new price or move out at the end of the lease.
There are certain exceptions. A landlord cannot raise the rent in retaliation against the tenant for taking certain actions according to Section 92.331 of the Texas Property Code. These actions include:
- Asking the landlord to make necessary repairs. Please see the Repairs page of our Landlord/Tenant Law guide for more information about the right to repairs.
- Making a complaint about a building or housing code violation or utility problem to the appropriate government entity. The complaint must be in good faith.
- Establishing, attempting to establish, or participating in a tenant organization.
A landlord also cannot raise the rent before the lease term is up unless the tenant agrees to the changes.
Many people assume that a landlord cannot increase rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are unaware of any local, state, or federal orders that would have this effect.
There is a Texas statute that allows a local government to create a rent control ordinance in Section 214.902 of the Texas Property Code. The statute limits this option to situations where a housing crisis has resulted from a disaster. The ordinance must also have the governor’s approval.
However, we are not aware of any rent control measures enacted under this section during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on rent increases, please see the Rent page of our Landlord/Tenant Law guide.
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