J.R. Rentals & Property Management

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Texas Lock Laws

Landlords in Texas are required to follow specific Property Code requirements with regard to “Security devices” In rental properties. Did you know that your failure to follow the lock laws gives your tenant a free and legal walk-away cancellation of the lease agreement?  It also places you in a position of greater liability in case of a break-in.  Why risk it?

Here are the basics of what you must know and abide by.  Please contact us if you have any questions.

  • Upon change of tenants, you have within 7 days of your new tenant moving in to rekey the locks.  This expense cannot be passed onto the tenant, even if the tenant agrees.  It is illegal to charge tenants for re-keying locks in Texas.
  • All exterior doors in your rental property must have a keyless deadbolt installed.  The door leading from the inside of your home into the garage is considered an exterior door.
  • All exterior doors in your rental property must have a door viewer (peephole) installed.  The exception is where a glass window exists either in the door or directly beside the door, which allows the occupant to see who is outside before opening the door.
  • All sliding patio doors must have a pin lock and either a locking handle or a Charlie bar installed.
  • Exit doors, such as an upstairs passage door leading to a balcony are not required to have keyed deadbolts of locking doorknobs but must have a keyless deadbolt installed.