I've been told that law is in favor of landlords moreso in Pflugerville than in Austin. Austin is more tenant friendly.
I wasn't sure what would count as discrimination.
Given that, in Austin, can you decide not to let a tenant apply because they smoke for example?
If you didn't know or they didn't disclose, moved in, and they smoked in your house, could you evict them?
Is there anything in particular to watch out for ?
Always let the tenant apply. Their application can be rejected afterwards based on legally applicable parameters or not meeting qualification requirements. You can also put restrictions within a lease agreement to prohibit specific actions, such as smoking.
State and federal law applies to both Pflugerville and Austin, specifically you will want to see the Texas Property Code and Federal Fair Housing Act. To my knowledge, neither municipality has any tenant-specific rules.
If you are going to be a landlord, you better know the law. Even if you hire a lawyer.
I'm not in that market, but I know there is an Austin Tenant's Council that is an advocate for tenant's rights. I doubt they have that in Pflugerville. Chances are today Austin is a little more liberal so if there are not additional restrictions on landlords today, I can see that coming down the pike. Things like rental inspections or additional discrimination prohibitions over and above federal law.
Most of Pflugerville lies in Precinct 2 of Travis County which would be perceived to be more conservative than the other areas
You can absolutely refuse a smoker as being a smoker is not a protected class. If you "did not know" and it was not spelled out in your lease no smoking then you are out of luck. Can you evict for smoking? You can try. Very difficult to prove they are smoking inside the unit as most smokers have cloths and other items that carry the smell(not much you can do about that)
Eh, they're really not that different if you're just looking to do a vanilla long-term rental. STRs, halfway houses, commercial leases, etc. have slightly more of a difference, but I don't think that's what you're asking about. As far as discriminating against a tenant for smoking? I'm pretty sure no jurisdiction in the country has a rule against that one. Most of Austin's discrimination rules follow the Fair Housing Act (as does everywhere else in the country, including Pflugerville), but they have a few extras that not every other place has.
@Bruce Lynn , the Austin Tenant's Council will also help Pflugerville residents. I'm not sure if it's still there, but Pflugerville used to actually have a link to ATC on their governmental website.
As has been mentioned above, you can ATTEMPT to evict a tenant for breaking any part of your lease, but some things are very difficult to prove, and with all the COVID court issues I can't imagine winning a smoker eviction.
Here are the Austin discrimination rules if you want to check them out: https://www.austintexas.gov/de...