abilene tx.....

5 Replies

hi....Im Daniel getting started in real estate because i out grew my old house,i was lucky enough to be in the perfect position to keep the house to rent it out.....I might have already made a big mistake by letting a friend rent it with no paper work but he's doing the work for me to get it up to code.....what's my next step...?

Hi Daniel,

Welcome to the world of real estate investing!

I am an investor in Abilene with rental properties, not an attorney, but from my understanding of Texas law you have what is known as "A tenancy at will", and can be terminated at the will of either party upon "fair notice". It really helps to have a lease even with a friend in order to avoid any misunderstandings. I would also be concerned about the liability and safety issues if the house is not "up to code" while your friend is living there and working on it.

I would encourage you to have a written lease agreement as soon as possible, even if it is a month to month lease.

Wish you the best in your investment. If you put in the time to learn here on Bigger Pockets, you will learn all you need to know to be successful.

mr ward.....thank you so much for the info,would you have any good suggestions on getting started.ie website,documents,...im try ing to put in some work and listening and reading as much as i can,but i may be on overload....looking for somthing that would help me in my situation....thx

You do not need a written agreement if the lease is less than one year, although it is highly recommended to have one done ASAP.

Verbal lease agreements are enforceable in Texas, so make sure you follow the procedures listed in Texas Property Code or seek legal help when you need to raise rent, terminate the lease or evict your tenant friend. I am not an attorney so this is not legal advice but speaking from my experience. I have been to Texas eviction court where I see landlords occasionally failed on eviction cases due to failure to follow procedures. Worst part is, one landlord end up having to pay the tenant's attorney fees which comes out to be $1800.00 and still not getting his rent dues paid for another month while he has to restart the eviction process.

I highly recommend that you keep all email and text exchanges with your tenant/friend regarding the lease, and document any verbal conversations in writing and if possible, emailing to your friend what was verbally agreed.

That said, I personally would not rent to a friend or relative because it is so difficult to make hard business decisions without the risk of jeapodizing the relationship.

Originally posted by @Daniel Musquiz :

mr ward.....thank you so much for the info,would you have any good suggestions on getting started.ie website,documents,...im try ing to put in some work and listening and reading as much as i can,but i may be on overload....looking for somthing that would help me in my situation....thx

 Google "Texas Property Code, Chapter 92".  I am not a lawyer but I find this document quite easy to understand.

@Steven Woon has made some good points here. Not knowing if you have an actual verbal lease agreement that establishes the terms, we would both be guessing in the dark as far as enforceability.

TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) has lease agreements and other forms on their website you can use, however, TREC stipulates that you assume all risks associated with their proper use.

Check out the free education available here on bigger pockets. (Use the Education pull down menu at the top of the page) There is more free information here than most "Real estate gurus" charge thousands for.  It takes a commitment in time - but you can get there.

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