Although Texas' landlord-tenant law strictly defines many of the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, there is no state legislation that regulates a landlord's access to a rented dwelling. Because of this, many landlord entry issues are defined by terms of a lease, although legal guidelines exist even when no clauses in a lease agreement discuss landlord entry rights.
Cases in the Texas court system have upheld tenants' rights to privacy that require a landlord to receive permission to access a dwelling at any time. Tenants may refuse immediate access to their home if they choose, though both parties must make reasonable efforts to find a time when the landlord may access the premises. Tenants who continually deny their landlord access to a property, however, may be considered in violation of the lease and subject to eviction.
Texas Apartment Association Lease
A lease drawn up by the Texas Apartment Association is the basis of many lease agreements in Texas. This lease grants landlords entry rights to a property in the case of an emergency, to remove an unauthorized pet or to stop a disturbance. In addition, it grants landlords entry rights during business hours to make repairs requested by the tenant or in case of an emergency inside the building. This common lease also grants the landlord entry rights to serve tenants with notice of eviction.
Showing a Property
Unless a lease states otherwise, a tenant is not required to admit his landlord into the property if the landlord is there to show the property to a prospective tenant or buyer.
Unless it's specified otherwise in the lease, a landlord isn't required to give a tenant advance notice of entry. Landlords must, of course, be entering the property legally as defined by other clauses in the lease.
Even if a landlord has entry rights specified by the lease, tenants may refuse entry to their dwelling if they are sick, or if the landlord arrives unannounced while they are leaving.