Housing

TAA Lease

Download a Sample TAA Lease

Annotations to the Texas Apartment Association (TAA) Lease

The following paragraphs will clarify and explain some important sections in the TAA Apartment Lease Contract. The paragraph numbers correspond to sections in the TAA lease.

Understanding your lease: basic principles

If you make any agreements with your management not listed in the lease, put them in writing and ask the manager to sign the amendments.

Keep a copy of all documents and correspondence with your manager: lease contract, apartment inventory form, cancelled checks, agreements, repair requests, letters, etc.

PARTIES
Make sure this section is filled out completely. Include the names of ALL ROOMMATES. Your roommates will not be legally responsible for the unit if their names and signatures do not appear on the lease.
OCCUPANTS
If the space indicating the number of "consecutive days" guests may occupy the apartment is left blank, that space will be replaced with 2 days. If you plan on having out of town guests frequently, discuss your plans with your management and get an appropriate number of consecutive days placed in the blank. Also, if when you sign your lease you are aware of a friend or two who will be visiting frequently, you should list such persons under "occupant".
CONTRACT TERM
The lease will be automatically renewed on a month to month basis unless a written notice of termination is given by the manager or the resident at least 30 days before the end of the lease (some leases require 60 day notice). You must supply this if manager does not. If your move out date falls in the middle of the month, the 30 days will begin (in some cases) at the beginning of the following month.
Note: Failure to provide a 30-day notice or moving out before the end of the lease carries serious legal consequences.
SECURITY DEPOSIT
Pay the security deposit with a check, cashier's check, or money order. Always get a receipt when you put your deposit down. Remember the move-in/move-out inventory form is intended to assist you in the return of your security deposit.
KEYS
Keys may not be duplicated. Additionally, your spouse or any resident or occupant who has permanently moved out according to a remaining resident is (at their option) no longer entitled to occupancy or keys (i.e. if a previous roommate returns to management requesting to enter the apartment for personal belongings).
RENT & CHARGES
You must pay on or before the first day of each month (due date) with no grace period unless otherwise specified. Cash is unacceptable without prior written permission. Management may require units with multiple residents to pay all the rent with one check, money order, or certified check. Delayed rent will accumulate late charges per day. Returned checks will be subjected to penalty charges. Residents who keep pets without the managers written consent will pay charges up to $10 per day (charge for each day it is assumed the pet was occupying the unit). Repairs/Advance Payment: YOU MUST PAY for all repairs arising from misuse or damage by you or your family, occupants, or guests during your occupancy.
UTILITIES
Ask which utilities are included in the rent. If utilities are included, ask how the monthly payments are estimated. You may be paying your portion of the building's bill, or you may be billed for your individual unit directly by the utility company. Make sure the boxes are marked on your lease.
INSURANCE
Property owners urge you to protect your property from theft, fire, smoke, water damage, and the like, by purchasing insurance. The property owners are not responsible for the safety of your belongings.
SECURITY DEVICES
Your residence must have the following: a window latch on each window, a keyless dead bolt on each exterior door, a doorviewer on each exterior door, and a pin lock, door handle latch, or security bar on each sliding glass door. If you "request" any additional items YOU WILL PAY for the items and their installation. If you want the door locks rekeyed, have your manager put it in writing in the lease.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS
Use these lines to write promises and special agreements you have made with your manager (i.e. new carpet, cleaning, painting, repairs, etc.). If you were shown a model apartment, add a statement specifying that the apartment assigned to you must be in equivalent condition. Sign your initials in the margin, and ask your manager to do the same. These agreements now become legal parts of the lease. If your manager has ANYTHING written in the special provisions read EVERYTHING written before you agree to sign. In short, items written in the special provisions section supersedes anything in the contract.
RELETTING CHARGE
If you move out prior to the end of your lease, you may be charged a reletting fee. The reletting fee is charged to cover the cost, efforts and expenses incurred in locating a resident. The reletting charge is due whether or not reletting attempts have been successful. NOTE: If your unit does not get relet, you are still responsible for the rent until the end of your contract term (see #3).  The reletting fee should not exceed 85% of the highest monthly rent.
REIMBURSEMENT
Carefully read the underlined sentences in this section. The resident will reimburse the owner for losses or damages caused in the apartment or apartment community by the negligence of the resident or his/her guests.
CONTRACTUAL LIEN AND ABANDONMENT
The manager has the right to seize residents property to ensure payment of delinquent rent or if the apartment has been abandoned prior to the end of the lease. Personal property such as stereos, VCR's, televisions, etc. can be seized by the manager. The property owners are not responsible for any damages, losses or theft. This lien may be in conjunction with the acceleration of the rent if the resident is trying to vacate.
FAILING TO PAY FIRST MONTH'S RENT
If you fail to pay the first month's rent, all future rent will be accelerated (all your rent for the entire lease term). Your lease may be terminated and you may be charged re-letting fees, damages, attorney's fees, court costs, and other charges as deemed appropriate.
RENT INCREASES AND LEASE CONTRACT CHANGES
Read this section carefully. If management gives you 35 day written notice before the end of your lease, then a new modified lease will begin on the date specified in the notice (without necessity of your signature) unless you give 30 days written move-out notice.
DELAY OF OCCUPANCY
The property owners are not responsible for delays due to construction, repairs, cleaning or a previous resident's hold over. Carefully read the two reasons; you may terminate the lease based on delay of occupancy and remember you may terminate up to the date the unit is ready for occupancy, but no later.
DISCLOSURE RIGHTS
Your management has the right to disclose your rental history (i.e. whether you have any tardy payment).
COMMUNITY POLICIES OR RULES
Ask your manager to give you a copy of any other rules and regulations that apply specifically to the apartment complex in which you live.
LIMITATIONS ON CONDUCT
Note the listed items which the property owner can regulate such as the patio area. Also note, trash must be disposed of once each week.
PROHIBITED CONDUCT
Remember, the conduct listed as prohibited applies to any visitors of the residents.
PARKING
Vehicles are prohibited for the listed 12 items such as a flat tire, expired inspection sticker and the property manager may have such vehicles towed.
RELEASE OF RESIDENT
Unless there is a clause in the Special Provisions (section 10) or you find cause in the military clause you will not be released from your lease.
MILITARY CLAUSE
Military permission for base housing does not constitute a permanent change-of-station order and therefore you can not be released from your lease. If you are a member of the armed forces of any country, be aware of the two provisions allowing you to be released from your lease.
RESIDENT SAFETY & PROPERTY LOSS
Please read the security guidelines on page 6 of your lease. Additionally, you will be provided a smoke detector. However, you will be responsible for any damage arising from your disconnecting or failure to replace batteries, or from not reporting malfunctions of your smoke detector. This clause removes your property manager/landlord's liability from most losses or damages not incurred by their negligence.
CONDITIONS OF THE PREMISES AND ALTERATIONS
If the apartment is not in the condition you expected it to be, DO NOT MOVE IN. Once you have moved into the apartment, be sure to fill out a move-in inventory form within 48 hours of taking possession of the apartment. Additionally, you are only permitted a small number of nail holes for picture hanging in the sheetrock walls or grooves in wood paneling, unless the rules of your specific community states otherwise. Ask your manager to define "reasonable number." Also be sure to ask your manager permission before making any alterations to your apartment.
REQUESTS, REPAIRS, AND MALFUNCTIONS
If you need any type of repair, written notice must be given to your management (except in emergencies involving immediate danger to person or property.
PETS - NO PETS ARE ALLOWED (even temporarily).
This includes all mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, rodents, and insects. Guide animals for disabled people may be permitted, however deposit may be required and a doctor's note confirming the need for such an animal. If a pet has been in an apartment any time during the term of your lease (with or without manager's consent) you will be charged for defleaing, deodorizing, and shampooing. Additionally, you may be charged a daily fine for the animals’ occupancy and the animal may be removed from the premises with as little as 24 hour notice.
WHEN WE MAY ENTER
The apartment manager or repair personnel may enter your apartment at reasonable hours for reasons listed. Entry may be during a time when residents are in the apartment or entering party may leave notice to residents about their entry.
MULTIPLE RESIDENTS OR OCCUPANTS
Request or notices given from any resident constitutes notice from all residents. All residents on the lease are equally liable to uphold the lease.
REPLACEMENTS AND SUBLETTING
Replacing a resident or subletting (2 different things) is allowed only when management consents in writing. The departing resident will no longer have a right to occupancy or to a security deposit refund, but will remain liable for the rest of the original lease contract unless management agrees otherwise in writing
DEFAULT BY OWNER
Read carefully the responsibilities enumerated.<
DEFAULT BY RESIDENT

Read the 7 cases that will cause you to default your lease. If you default, the manager has the right to stop utilities which are paid as part of the rent or seize resident's property. The manager may also terminate the resident's right of occupancy on one day's written notice. This notice is the first step toward eviction. The obligation of an evicted tenant to pay rent ceases only if management rents the apartment to someone else.

  • Acceleration If the resident gives notice of intent to move out before the end of a lease, or begins moving belongings from the unit, then the rent may be accelerated. Acceleration means that all rents for the remainder of the lease period are due immediately.
  • Hold-Over If a resident "holds over" an apartment, failing to vacate by the required move-out date, the resident is required to pay rent for the holdover period, as well as any additional expenses and inconveniences incurred by the manager or the prospective new residents. Rent for the holdover period will be increased by 25% over the then existing rent, without notice. You will be liable for the rent of any resident who was unable to occupy due to the holdover. At the management's option, the lease contract may be extended one month from the date of notice of lease contract extension.
MISCELLANEOUS
Apartment representatives have no authority to waive, make promises, amend, make agreements that impose security duties etc. unless in writing. Carefully read the underlined paragraph. Remember the contract states "No oral promises have been made". Make sure all agreements are in writing.
PAYMENTS
After due date, the management does not have to accept late rent or other late payment.
TAA MEMBERSHIP
If the user of this lease is not a TAA (Texas Apartment Association) member, this lease is voidable at your option and is unenforceable by the manager/owner.
SECURITY GUIDELINES
This section provides extremely valuable tips ensuring your personal safety inside your apartment and outside your apartment, and protecting your car.
MOVE-OUT NOTICE
You must give apartments representative at least 30 days written notice. Move-out notice given on the first is sufficient for move out on the last day of the month. Oral notice is not sufficient and does not constitute notice.
MOVE-OUT PROCEDURES
The move-out date cannot be changed unless the date is put in writing by the management and the resident. Please carefully read the procedures for move-out. By law, security deposits cannot be applied toward rent.
CLEANING
Residents must clean the apartment in agreement with move-out cleaning instructions. Otherwise, cost of cleaning will be deducted from the security deposit.
MOVE-OUT INSPECTION
Make an appointment with the manager and use the Move-out Inventory and Condition form, even if you did not complete it when you moved in. Have roommates or friends witness the inspection with you. Take photographs or videos of apartment if you believe that there may be unwarranted deductions from your security deposit.
SECURITY DEPOSIT AND OTHER CHARGES
You will be charged to hook up utilities for cleaning and repairs. Therefore, plan on having utilities (electricity) on for 3 to 4 days after you plan on moving out.
DEPOSIT RETURN, SURRENDER AND ABANDONMENT
The manager has 30 days to refund your deposit or send an itemization of deductions. Be sure to turn in the keys and leave a forwarding address.
ORIGINALS AND ATTACHMENTS
Make sure you get a copy of your lease and all attachments. Do not ever sign a blank page!