When it comes to renting residential properties in Texas, landlords and tenants enjoy a significant degree of freedom to contract. This means they can use whichever lease form they prefer, as long as it complies with the law. However, the most common residential lease used for single-family rentals in the Lone Star State is the Texas Association of Realtors Residential (TAR) lease form. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a framework for understanding and using this widely recognized lease agreement.
Understanding the TAR Lease Form
The Texas Association of Realtors Residential lease form, commonly referred to as the TAR lease, is a comprehensive agreement designed to establish the terms and conditions of a residential rental arrangement. It’s important to note that this lease form is promulgated by the Texas Association of Realtors and is copyrighted for the exclusive use of Realtors who are members of TAR. This copyright protection means that the lease should not be altered or reproduced without proper authorization.
The TAR lease is quite extensive, spanning approximately 14 pages. Typically, it is combined with several common addenda, such as an Animal Agreement or Bed Bug Addendum, to address specific issues that may arise during a tenancy. These addenda are also designed to be in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
One notable aspect of the TAR lease is that it is drafted by lawyers at TAR with the intention of being fairly unbiased for both tenants and landlords. This balance is a key reason for its widespread use and acceptance in the Texas rental market. Unlike many other lease forms, the TAR lease aims to provide clarity and protection for both parties involved in the rental agreement.
It’s important to distinguish between the Texas Association of Realtors and the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). TAR is a private trade association for real estate professionals, while TREC is a government agency responsible for regulating real estate agents. TREC does promulgate various forms for use by the general public, but it does not provide a standard residential lease form. As a result, the TAR lease has become the de facto standard in Texas for residential rentals.
The Significance of Paragraph 33, Section G.
One crucial point to highlight in the TAR lease is Paragraph 33, Section G. This section stipulates that the use of the lease without the involvement of a Realtor is voidable by the tenant. In other words, if a landlord uses the TAR lease without the assistance of a Realtor, the tenant has the option to void the lease. This underscores the importance of either working with a Realtor or seeking legal guidance when using this lease form.
Advantages of Using the TAR Lease
There are several advantages to using the TAR lease in your Texas residential rental agreements:
- Recognizability: The TAR lease is the most recognizable lease form for both tenants and landlords in Texas. Its widespread use means that many individuals are already familiar with its terms and conditions, which can streamline the leasing process.
- Fair and Unbiased: As mentioned earlier, the TAR lease is drafted with fairness in mind, providing a balanced framework for both landlords and tenants.
- Regular Updates: The lease form is regularly updated to accommodate changes in the law. This means that you can rely on the TAR lease to reflect the most current legal requirements and protections for both parties.
A Cautionary Note
While the TAR lease offers many advantages, it’s crucial to caution landlords against striking the copyright clauses and us