Texas rental application and lease agreement

13 Replies

Hello everyone. I am wondering where to get a good application and lease agreement specific to TX laws? Has anyone used wiki downloads? I found some that looked good in there but wanted to see what everyone else was using. Thanks for the help. 

Actually apartment complexes generally use the TAA lease, not the TAR lease.  TAR lease is adequate if you don't want to pay, although only realtors are supposed to use it.

So does that mean that if I use a TAR lease it won't be legal?

Hi Guys! I know it's been a year since this was posted, but I found the post while searching forums for "Texas Lease Agreements" earlier this week. None of the threads really answered the poster's question (which was my question as well), so I figured it out on my own, and wanted to post a follow up for anyone else who is trying to set up a new lease agreement in Texas, but is not a Realtor.  Quick background, I have a great tenant who wanted to renew her lease. I had owned the property for about a year and a half, and when I bought it, I kept the Property Manager that had been managing it for a long time. She is a broker and a Realtor, and she had drafted the original lease, which was pretty watertight. I took over management when her contract expires, and have been self-managing the property for the past 10 months or so. So now, it was time to renew the lease --- but since I'm not a Realtor, it looks like I'm not authorized to use the same lease.

OK, so first, I went to Nolo.com, and searched residential lease forms, and found a form for Texas. You sign up for an annual membership with them and then you can access their do-it-yourself legal forms. They have an OK template for Texas residential leases, but it lacked a lot of the clauses in my original lease. For example, you can say, "No pets," but there is no place to enter in pet fees. You have to do it manually. I ended up re-typing about 3 pages worth of legal language from my TAR lease, within an "Additional Provisions" section. (I couldn't copy-paste from the TAR PDF, so this took me about an hour and a half.) Once I was finished with the lease, I understood that I needed to create an account and pay a fee in order to download or print it. So, I clicked the button to do that, and -- all the fields in the lease cleared and I lost all my work!!! I was so annoyed, I went to a different website.

Next: I went to RocketLawyer.com. They have a monthly fee instead of an annual fee, but you can cancel after 5 days or something if you like, and not pay anything. I think I'll pay them for the first month, since I appreciated the service, and then cancel before it renews. Their forms were a bit easier to use, but the lease was also lacking some language that I really liked from the TAR lease, especially pet-related items and some notes about move in and move out condition. I re-typed everything again, and it worked just fine. I also like that you can have the lease e-signed with Rocket Lawyer. If anyone else is looking for good lease forms in Texas, I would recommend Rocket Lawyer, and just be sure to cancel before it auto-renews, unless you need legal forms on a monthly basis. (I was also able to download a Word version and/or a PDF of the lease for my records.) And of course you could print it and get physical signatures if you prefer. Hope this is helpful to someone out there. :)

Thanks Laurie! I'm actually in the same boat, so thanks for the info!

We used rocket lawyer in the beginning and while it was definitely convenient, the lease is weak relative to the TAR forms. Given the specific property laws in Texas you really need to try to find a way to go with the TAR 2001 form. It's updated constantly based on law changes and it's very pro landlord.

The TAR forms are the most comprehensive.

Originally posted by @Bret Allen :

The TAR forms are the most comprehensive.

 Do you have to be licensed to use/convey it?

The TAR-2001 is a form to be used by REALTORS ONLY. It states very clearly in the lease under copyright. #33 AGREEMENT OF PARTIES   G. Copyright....states clearly "lease is voidable at will by Tenant" ... I have an inactive real estate license.. I will NOT be using this form because....I am NOT a REALTOR.. proceed with caution if you are using it and you too ARE NOT A REALTOR. 

Hi All,

I'm in the process of screening tenants for my first rental property.  I asked my realtor if he had a copy of a lease I could reference or use, and he sent me a copy of the TAR-2001 form.  I am not a realtor, but if my agent is involved in helping me with the leasing process, would I be able to use this lease?  Would my agent need to "cosign" the lease in some way to make it valid since I'm not a realtor?

Reading through the TAR lease it seems very thorough and I like the content.  Worst case if I really shouldn't use it as a non-realtor, what if I retyped the entire thing into my own format.  Even if I kept a lot of the verbiage the same, would this be legal?


@Eric Lee did you ever find the answer to your question above?

@Costin I.  From what I gathered, since my realtor gave me the lease in his capacity as my agent, I should be in the clear. 

@Eric Lee - I found the answer too. If you are using the TAR Lease agreement for your rentals and you are not an active REALTOR member of TAR, I suggest you take a look at #33 G before you get a big surprise when you need protection the most:

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