TAA Lease – The Changes

In addition to programs and career development classes, as well as, networking opportunities and publications, AATC owner/operator members have access to the Texas Apartment Association (TAA) lease contract and addenda. The TAA Lease is the best rental lease in the nation—period. In fact, it’s the model for the NAA’s national lease.  Along with the TAA REDBOOK, the TAA Leaseforms ensure that rental housing owners and managers are professionally operating their portfolios.

As you know, state law governs substantial portions of the TAA Lease; therefore, after each biennial Texas legislature session, TAA’s legal team updates and revises the lease and lease forms to ensure they conform to any changes in state law.  TAA staff also reviews the lease and lease forms for clarity and ease of use; removing any unnecessary legalese and making corrections, deletions, and additions.

Similarly, TAA staff reviews and revises the TAA REDBOOK.  Special thanks to TAA General Counsel Sandy Hoy for her efforts to ensure that AATC members have the best-of-the-best lease documents and forms.

The following are the major changes to the TAA Lease and lease forms.

No More Lease Renewal Forms – The TAA Lease Renewal Formis no more. Given current and potential changes to the TAA Lease contract and addenda, it is best to have residents complete a new lease rather than the one-page renewal form.  With the Click & Lease online capabilities, this process will be much simpler.  For those members that previously used the one-page renewal form, having your residents complete a new lease is an opportunity to remind them of their obligations and assure them that they are entering into a contract that reflects current law.

TAA Lease Contract Changes

Dates– Removes the “Date of Lease Contract” at the top of Page 1 and modifies the date at the bottom of Page 8 to reduce confusion and to make clear when the Lease was executed.

Payment locations – Allows owners to choose more than one location where payment should be made in Paragraph 6 “Rent and Charges.”

Late Fees – TAA released a revised lease through theTAA Click & Lease program on August 28 which reflected the recent changes in the late fees law. The TAA Board of Directors approved additional changes to Paragraph 6 of the TAA Lease to further improve and simplify the related lease provisions.

Data – Changes to Paragraph 18 make it clear that an owner may but is not obligated to, share or transfer information relating to the lease for business or governmental purposes.

Towing & Booting – Changes to paragraph 21 give the management the right to tow or boot an unauthorized or illegally parked vehicle, and defines what that means, including a clarification that someone parking in another resident’s reserved spot is unauthorized.

Notice of Termination for Disaster or Catastrophic Loss –  If a community suffers significant damage due to a natural disaster or catastrophe, owners may unilaterally terminate the lease by providing notice to the resident and giving them a certain number of days to move out so that the property can be repaired as quickly as possible. This provision in the lease is being changed to make the date of effective lease termination at least seven days after the date of the notice of termination, compared to the current five-day notice.

Responsibilities upon eviction – Paragraph 32 (“Default by Resident”) addresses available remedies when residents default and highlights the process owners must follow to end the resident’s right of occupancy and file an eviction suit. The language currently in Paragraph 40 (“Security Deposit Deductions and Other Charges”) describing charges residents may be responsible for, like for the lawful removal of any animal or in any eviction proceeding against the resident, is being moved from Paragraph 40 to Paragraph 32.5 near the other provisions relating to defaulting residents. We’ve also made it clear that nothing in the lease constitutes a waiver of remedies for a breach under a previous lease.

Rental Application

Dates – Changes are like Lease. Removed the date field at the top, since it might conflict with the date the application is signed.

Criminal history clarification –Added “any crime against persons or property” to the list of criminal history information that must be disclosed.

Using information for business purposes. The addition in the Authorization and Acknowledgment confirms that information provided by residents can be used for business purposes.

Supplemental Rental Application for Non-U.S. Citizens

Dates – Similar change on this form to remove the date field at the top, since it might conflict with the date the application is signed.

Separate applications required. To be consistent with TAA’s Rental Application, we have removed the option for spouses to complete a joint application.

Animal Addendum

 Dates– Similar change on this form to remove the date field at the top, since it might conflict with the date the form is signed.

Additional animal information section– In response to member requests, the form now includes space for a third animal, if the property allows that option.

Bed Bug Addendum

Dates – Similar change on this form to remove the date field at the top, since it might conflict with the date the form is signed.

Affirmative acknowledgment – Paragraph 3 has been changed to include an affirmative acknowledgment regarding inspections and infestations.