A Texas rental application form is a document landlords use to screen and vet potential tenants, to determine whether they are reliable and can pay rent on time.
In the landmark 2015 United States Supreme Court case Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. regarding a rental application form and fair housing laws, the US Supreme Court held that disparate impact claims were included in the Fair Housing Act.
The ruling enforced that a disparate impact claim, an adverse effect on a protected class of persons from practices in housing, employment, and other areas conducted in a formal, neutral, and non-prejudicial manner, was covered under the Fair Housing Act.
Texas laws impose unique requirements on landlords screening potential/future tenants, and state law is specific regarding tenants’ rights during the screening process.
Rejection of Rental Application
A Texas landlord is presumed to have given notice of rejection or acceptance of a rental application form when they have informed the applicant by telephone or sent a written notice in the mail.
Landlords may reject a rental application for several reasons, including unsatisfactory information revealed during a credit check or various background checks.
Landlords should have objective rental policies and selection criteria and provide applicants with a written explanation for why they were rejected.
Failure to Disclose
A landlord may reject a rental application form when an applicant fails to disclose complete or accurate information.
Property owners or landlords may mention a security deposit during the rental application form process, but they typically do not collect this deposit until a tenant enters into a lease agreement.
Texas law does not limit the security deposit a landlord may request from a tenant.
Rental Application Fee
Texas law does not limit the amount landlords can charge for rental application fees. Generally, most landlords charge between $15 and $30 and won’t consider the rental application form without the fee.
The landlord uses the application fee to run a background check and credit report.
Discrimination on Rental Applications
Landlords may not discriminate against applicants who fill out a rental application. They may not ask questions regarding several areas, such as race, religion, or familial status, where a child under eighteen (18) lives with a parent, legal guardian, or designee of the parent or legal guardian.
Below is a Texas rental application template you can use to screen tenants for your rental. Alternatively, create a customized Texas rental application using our document builder.