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What measures are landlords forbidden to take against tenants?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | Property Law

As a landlord, you strive for good relationships with your tenants. You always try to be forthright, consistent and responsive to their needs and complaints. But some tenants are really tough to deal with. They may frequently annoy you to no end.

Even though tenants like that can be a major headache, you cannot cross certain lines with them. If you do, you can be blamed for landlord harassment. This is defined as the “use of aggressive methods by the landlord in an attempt to pressure or intimidate a tenant.” To be deemed harassment, what a landlord does must be repeated, not rare or only done once.

You shouldn’t let a tenant situation escalate to that level, no matter how much you wish someone would vacate the premises permanently. You also cannot interfere with their rights under Texas law. Showing restraint and professionalism is important, even if you are pushed to the limit of your patience.

What specific measures are you, a landlord, not allowed to take against a tenant?

Some off-limits tactics landlords have to stay away from:

  •       Taking away perks that were described in the tenant’s lease
  •       Showing up in a tenant’s unit without warning in a non-emergency situation
  •       Turning off utilities
  •       Pretending that a tenant is about to be thrown out of their unit when they are not
  •       Issuing threats
  •       Replacing a tenant’s locks without their knowledge
  •       Neglecting repairs

It can be challenging for a landlord to remain cool and rational

Although you may get exasperated, don’t do anything that tempts a tenant to say you committed landlord harassment. If you are faced with such a charge and you did nothing that violates the law, seeking legal guidance can help to protect your rights and your reputation.