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Lease Termination & Special Statutory Rights

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1 Lease Termination & Special Statutory Rights
https://www.texasrealestate.com/for-texas-realtors/property-management Lease Termination & Special Statutory Rights By Abby Lee, Associate Counsel

2 Lease Termination & Special Statutory Rights
Methods of Termination Expiration Agreement Mutual Termination Agreement Replacement Tenant/Subtenant Breach By Operation of Law Special Statutory Rights Family Violence Sexual Offenses & Stalking Military Entrance, Deployment, or Transfer Questions Lease Termination & Special Statutory Rights

3 Methods of Termination
A lease, just like any contract, can terminate a variety of ways. The TAR Residential Lease (TAR form 2001) is no different. The TAR lease can terminate: Upon expiration of the primary term or month-to-month term after proper notice has been provided; By agreement of both the landlord and tenant; By a breach of one the parties; or By operation of law. Methods of Termination

4 Methods of Termination
Upon expiration of the primary or month-to-month term after proper notice has been provided… Paragraph 4 of the TAR Residential Lease provides the requirements for proper termination upon the expiration of the primary or month-to-month term of the lease. The TAR Lease will continue on a month-to-month basis unless one of the parties provides timely written notice. Oral notice is not sufficient. Paragraph 4A deals with required notice during primary term, 4B deals with notice required during any month-to-month tenancy. Note paragraph about failure to provide timely written notice. Also note, when a box is not checked, then 4(A)(1) and 4(B)(1) will apply respectively. Methods of Termination

5 Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between Paragraphs 4A and 4B in the Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease (TAR 2001)? Paragraph 4A applies to the initial term of the lease. Paragraph 4B applies if the lease is on a month-to-month basis. For example, a tenant has a one-year lease in which the expiration date of the initial term is Jan. 31. Paragraph 4A(2) is checked, which requires a 60-day notice of termination before the expiration date. If the landlord or tenant doesn’t provide the necessary written notice of termination on or before Dec. 3, a time period of 60 days, the lease will automatically renew on a month-to-month basis. Paragraph 4B will now apply for notice of termination. The period for giving notice now will depend on whether 4B(1) or 4B(2) is checked. Both paragraphs require written notice of termination, not verbal notice. If the landlord does not intend to renew, he should provide the Notice of Landlord’s Intent Not to Renew (TAR 2217) within the necessary time frame required under the lease. Frequently Asked Questions

6 Frequently Asked Questions
A tenant and landlord executed a TAR Residential Lease (TAR 2001). In Paragraph 4A, Box 2 was checked requiring either party to give 60 days' notice to terminate the lease. In Paragraph 4B, Box 2 was checked requiring at least 30 days’ notice if the lease renewed on a month-to-month basis. The lease automatically renewed on a month-to-month basis because neither party provided 60 days’ notice of termination as required by Paragraph 4A. The tenant now wants to terminate the lease, but the landlord is requiring the tenant to give 60 days' notice to terminate. Can the landlord require the tenant to give 60 days' notice now that the lease is on a month-to-month basis? No. Under Paragraph 4B(2), the tenant is only required to provide 30 days’ notice. Frequently Asked Questions

7 Frequently Asked Questions
I am working with a tenant whose lease ends August 31st. The landlord and tenant agreed to check boxes 4(A)(1) & 4(B)(1). The tenant didn’t provide the landlord written notice of termination to terminate the lease on August 31st until August 15th. Will the tenant’s lease obligations end on August 31st ? No. If the tenant failed to provide the landlord timely written notice as required by paragraph 4(A)(1) (e.g. provide written notice not less than 30 days before the expiration date), the lease will automatically renew on a month-to-month basis. The tenant must then provide a subsequent written notice of termination as required by 4(B)(1). Frequently Asked Questions

8 Frequently Asked Questions
I manage the property with multiple tenants. One of the tenants provided timely written notice of termination. However, one of the tenants wants to stay and is arguing that the notice of termination doesn’t apply to him. Is that correct? No. Paragraph 33C of the TAR Residential Lease states that all tenants are “jointly and severally liable for all provisions of the lease. Any act or notice to, refund to, or signature of, any one or more of the Tenants regarding any term of this lease, its extension, its renewal, or its termination is binding on all Tenants executing this lease.” Therefore, a notice of termination provided by one tenant would serve as a notice of termination for all tenants. If the tenant wishes to remain, he can sign a new lease with the landlord, provided the landlord agrees. Frequently Asked Questions

9 Methods of Termination
Upon expiration of the primary or month-to-month term after proper notice has been provided… The landlord can use the Notice of Landlord’s Intent Not to Renew (TAR form 2217) to provide notice to the tenant. The tenant can use the Notice of Tenant’s Intent to Vacate (TAR form 2218) to provide notice to the landlord. Generally, a landlord can choose not to renew for any reason as long as the landlord does not illegally retaliate or discriminate against the tenant. Exception: Section 8 tenants. Tenants receiving rental assistance under a government program may have additional protections. The program may require the landlord to show good cause for failing to renew a lease. Methods of Termination

10 Methods of Termination
Notice of Landlord’s Intent Not to Renew (TAR form 2217) Methods of Termination

11 Methods of Termination
Notice of Tenant’s Intent to Vacate (TAR form 2218) Methods of Termination

12 Methods of Termination
Upon expiration of the primary or month-to-month term after proper notice has been provided… If not using a lease, like the TAR Residential Lease, that specifies a period of notice required to terminate the tenancy, or alternatively states that no notice is required, Texas Property Code § will apply to a month-to-month lease. Note: Texas Property Code § does not apply if the parties simply fail to check a box in either Paragraph 4A or 4B of the TAR Residential Lease. The TAR lease provides that, in that scenario, Paragraph 4A(1) or 4B(1) will apply respectively. Note: does not apply if the lease contains a notice provision or that no notice is required. Methods of Termination

13 Methods of Termination
PROPERTY CODE TITLE 8. LANDLORD AND TENANT CHAPTER 91. PROVISIONS GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO LANDLORDS AND TENANTS Sec NOTICE FOR TERMINATING CERTAIN TENANCIES. (a) A monthly tenancy or a tenancy from month to month may be terminated by the tenant or the landlord giving notice of termination to the other. (b) If a notice of termination is given under Subsection (a) and if the rent-paying period is at least one month, the tenancy terminates on whichever of the following days is the later: (1) the day given in the notice for termination; or (2) one month after the day on which the notice is given. (c) If a notice of termination is given under Subsection (a) and if the rent-paying period is less than a month, the tenancy terminates on whichever of the following days is the later: (2) the day following the expiration of the period beginning on the day on which notice is given and extending for a number of days equal to the number of days in the rent-paying period. (d) If a tenancy terminates on a day that does not correspond to the beginning or end of a rent-paying period, the tenant is liable for rent only up to the date of termination. (e) Subsections (a), (b), (c), and (d) do not apply if: (1) a landlord and a tenant have agreed in an instrument signed by both parties on a different period of notice to terminate the tenancy or that no notice is required; or (2) there is a breach of contract recognized by law. If the rent-paying period is at least one month, the tenancy terminates on whichever is the later of: the day given in the notice for termination or one month after the day on which the notice is given. If the rent-paying period is less than a month, the tenancy terminates on whichever is the later of: the day following the expiration of the period beginning on the day on which notice is given and extending for a number of days equal to the number of days in the rent-paying period. If the tenant pays rent more than once a month and the lease is silent, it is sufficient for the tenant to give a termination notice equal to the interval between rental payments. Example: If the tenant pays rent weekly, then either party need give only one week’s notice in order to terminate the tenancy. The termination can occur on any day of the month, as long as the termination date is at least one month from the date of the notice. If a tenancy terminates on a day that does not correspond to the beginning or end of a rent-paying period, the tenant is liable for rent only up to the date of termination. Methods of Termination

14 Frequently Asked Questions
An owner just hired me as the new property manager. In looking over the TAR Residential Lease that the parties signed, I notice that box 1 in Paragraph 4(A) is checked, but no box is checked in Paragraph 4(B). The tenant’s lease is now in month-to-month and the landlord wants to terminate. How much notice does she have to provide to the tenant? If using the TAR Residential Lease, note the sentence in Paragraph 4: “IF a box is not checked under Paragraph 4A, Paragraph 4A(1) will apply. If a box is not checked under Paragraph 4B, Paragraph 4B(1) will apply.” Therefore, the landlord will need to provide the tenant a written notice of termination that will become effective “on the last day of the month following the month in which the notice is given. Landlord is not obligated to prorate rent even if Tenant surrenders the Property before the termination date.” Frequently Asked Questions

15 Methods of Termination
The TAR lease can terminate: Upon expiration of the primary term or month-to-month term after proper notice has been provided; By agreement of both the landlord and tenant; By a breach of one the parties; or By operation of law. Methods of Termination

16 Methods of Termination
By agreement of both the landlord and tenant… A landlord and tenant may agree to terminate the lease at any time. If both parties agree to terminate the lease, this should be reduced to writing and signed by both parties. Use the Early Termination of Residential Lease (TAR form 2012). OR Alternatively, the landlord and tenant could work to find a replacement tenant. Remember, the tenant is not entitled to early termination due to voluntary or involuntary job or school transfer, changes in marital status, loss of employment, loss of co-tenants, changes in health, purchase of property, or death. Yes, even death, as the obligations of the lease are “binding upon and inures to the benefit of the parties to this lease and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and permitted assigns.” See paragraph 33B. A tenant may not assign or sublet without Landlord’s written consent. Also remember that “unless expressly stated otherwise in an assignment or sublease, Tenant will not be released from Tenant’s obligations under this lease because of an assignment or sublease. Methods of Termination

17 Methods of Termination
By agreement of both the landlord and tenant… Paragraph 28(B) provides details on the process of assigning, subletting, or replacing a tenant, should the landlord agree. If a tenant requests an early termination, the landlord has two paths to take: 1) To hold the tenant in breach and pursue the remedies in Paragraph 27 or 2) To agree to the early termination by written agreement or allowing the tenant to find a replacement tenant pursuant to paragraph 28. The tenant does not have a right to assign or sublease. The landlord must consent and must give written consent. An assignment of this lease or a sublease of this lease without Landlord’s written consent is voidable by Landlord. Methods of Termination

18 Frequently Asked Questions
True or False. A landlord wishing to move back into their property has a right to break the lease at any time before it expires. False. Since the lease is a legally binding contract, a landlord cannot force a tenant to vacate the premises prior to the end of the lease. If done, the tenant could have a claim against the landlord for monetary damages. If the tenant commits a breach, the landlord could take legal action to terminate the lease. Frequently Asked Questions

19 Methods of Termination
The TAR lease can terminate: Upon expiration of the primary term or month-to-month term after proper notice has been provided; By agreement of both the landlord and tenant; By a breach of one the parties; or By operation of law. Remember, the Texas Property Code may also allow a tenant to terminate a lease early for certain circumstances: Interruption of Utilities (92.008, 301 (cutoff)) Removal of Property and Exclusion of Tenant ( ) Casualty Loss (92.054) Repair (92.056, 0562) Security Devices (92.164, 641, 165, 168) Outside our scope! Methods of Termination

20 Methods of Termination
By a breach of one the parties**… It’s possible a court could terminate the lease for breach by a party. Remember, terminating the right of occupancy is not the same thing as terminating the lease. If you are seeking enforcement of rights under the lease (i.e. unpaid rents, other damages), you do not want to terminate the lease, because that would also terminate your rights under the agreement. Methods of Termination

21 Methods of Termination
By a breach of one of the parties**… If a landlord breaches the lease, a tenant may be entitled to a variety of remedies. For example: Sec LANDLORD'S BREACH OF LEASE; LIEN. (a) If the landlord of a tenant who is not in default under a lease fails to comply in any respect with the lease agreement, the landlord is liable to the tenant for damages resulting from the failure. (b) To secure payment of the damages, the tenant has a lien on the landlord's nonexempt property in the tenant's possession and on the rent due to the landlord under the lease. Depending on the nature of the breach, there would be other remedies as well. Methods of Termination

22 Methods of Termination
By a breach of one the parties**… If the tenant breaches the lease, the TAR Residential Lease provides for a variety of remedies as well. **Remember, terminating the right of occupancy is not the same thing as terminating the lease. If you are seeking enforcement of rights under the lease (i.e. unpaid rents, other damages), you do not want to terminate the lease, because that may also terminate your rights under the agreement. Remember: Even if the landlord terminates the tenant’s right of occupancy, the landlord cannot physically remove the tenant from the premises because the landlord is required to follow the eviction procedures. Landlord will attempt to mitigate any damages. Methods of Termination

23 Frequently Asked Questions
True or False. A landlord has a duty to mitigate damages by reletting the premises if the tenant breaches the lease by moving out early without legal cause. True. Texas Property Code § states that a landlord has a duty to mitigate damages if a tenant abandons the leased premises. Additionally, Paragraph 27D of the TAR Residential Lease states that “Landlord will attempt to mitigate any damage or loss caused by Tenant’s breach by attempting to relet the Property to acceptable tenants and reducing Tenant’s liability accordingly. Frequently Asked Questions

24 Methods of Termination
The TAR lease can terminate: Upon expiration of the primary term or month-to-month term after proper notice has been provided; By agreement of both the landlord and tenant; By a breach of one the parties; or By operation of law. Methods of Termination

25 Methods of Termination
By operation of law… Both Federal and state laws may grant tenants special rights of early termination in limited circumstances… Remember, the Texas Property Code may also allow a tenant to terminate a lease early for certain circumstances: Interruption of Utilities (92.008, 301 (cutoff)) Removal of Property and Exclusion of Tenant ( ) Casualty Loss (92.054) Repair (92.056, 0562) Security Devices (92.164, 641, 165, 168) Outside our scope! Methods of Termination

26 Special Statutory Rights
Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate a lease early in certain situations involving: Family Violence Sex Offenses or Stalking Military Entrance, Deployment or Transfer Per Texas Council on Family Violence 2012 • Women Killed: 114 • Family violence incidents: 188,992 • Adults sheltered: 11,994 • Children sheltered: 14,534 Special Statutory Rights

27 Special Statutory Rights
Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate a lease early in certain situations involving: Family Violence Sex Offenses or Stalking Military Entrance, Deployment or Transfer Per Texas Council on Family Violence 2012 • Women Killed: 114 • Family violence incidents: 188,992 • Adults sheltered: 11,994 • Children sheltered: 14,534 Special Statutory Rights

28 Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence
Texas Property Code § governs rights or duties of landlords and tenants with regard to family violence. Paragraph 28A(2) of the TAR Residential Lease: Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence

29 Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence
A tenant may terminate a lease and avoid liability for future rent and any other sums if the tenant is a victim of family violence. “Family violence” is defined as: An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself; Abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or Dating violence. 2. Abuse is defined as: “Physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the child, including an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excluding an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator that does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm; (E) sexual conduct harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of continuous sexual abuse of young child or children under Section 21.02, Penal Code, indecency with a child under Section 21.11, Penal Code, sexual assault under Section , Penal Code, or aggravated sexual assault under Section , Penal Code; (G) compelling or encouraging the child to engage in sexual conduct as defined by Section 43.01, Penal Code, including conduct that constitutes an offense of trafficking of persons under Section 20A.02(a)(7) or (8), Penal Code, prostitution under Section 43.02(a)(2), Penal Code, or compelling prostitution under Section 43.05(a)(2), Penal Code.” 3. Sec DATING VIOLENCE. (a) "Dating violence" means an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that: (1) is committed against a victim: (A) with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or (B) because of the victim's marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and (2) is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. (b) For purposes of this title, "dating relationship" means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the nature of the relationship; and (3) the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. (c) A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a "dating relationship" under Subsection (b). Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence

30 Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence
A tenant may exercise the rights to terminate the lease, vacate the dwelling before the end of the lease term, and avoid liability beginning on the date after all of the following events have occurred: A judge signs one of the following orders: a temporary injunction, a temporary ex parte order, or a protective order (see TPC (b));* The tenant provides a copy of the relevant documentation (above) to the landlord or landlord’s agent; The tenant provides written notice of termination of the lease to the landlord on or before the 30th day before the date the lease terminates; The 30th day after the date the tenant provided notice under Subdivision (3) expires; and The tenant vacates the dwelling. The protective order may protect the tenant or an occupant from family violence. "Occupant" means a person who has the landlord's consent to occupy a dwelling but has no obligation to pay the rent for the dwelling. (b) A tenant may terminate the tenant's rights and obligations under a lease and may vacate the dwelling and avoid liability for future rent and any other sums due under the lease for terminating the lease and vacating the dwelling before the end of the lease term if the tenant complies with Subsection (c) and provides the landlord or the landlord's agent a copy of one or more of the following orders protecting the tenant or an occupant from family violence: a temporary injunction issued under Subchapter F, Chapter 6, Family Code; a temporary ex parte order issued under Chapter 83, Family Code; or a protective order issued under Chapter 85, Family Code. A tenant's right to terminate a lease before the end of the lease term, vacate the dwelling, and avoid liability under this section may not be waived by a tenant. Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence

31 Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence
If the family violence is committed by a cotenant or occupant of the dwelling, a tenant may exercise the rights to terminate the lease, vacate the dwelling before the end of the lease term, and avoid liability beginning on the date after all of the following events have occurred: A judge signs one of the following orders: a temporary injunction or a protective order (not the ex parte order);* The tenant provides a copy of the relevant documentation (above) to the landlord or landlord’s agent; and The tenant vacates the dwelling. *The protective order may protect the tenant or an occupant from family violence. "Occupant" means a person who has the landlord's consent to occupy a dwelling but has no obligation to pay the rent for the dwelling. (b) A tenant may terminate the tenant's rights and obligations under a lease and may vacate the dwelling and avoid liability for future rent and any other sums due under the lease for terminating the lease and vacating the dwelling before the end of the lease term if the tenant complies with Subsection (c) and provides the landlord or the landlord's agent a copy of one or more of the following orders protecting the tenant or an occupant from family violence: a temporary injunction issued under Subchapter F, Chapter 6, Family Code; a temporary ex parte order issued under Chapter 83, Family Code; or a protective order issued under Chapter 85, Family Code. (c-1) If the family violence is committed by a cotenant or occupant of the dwelling, a tenant may exercise the right to terminate the lease under the procedures provided by Subsection (b)(1) or (3) and Subsection (c), except that the tenant is not required to provide the notice described by Subsection (c)(3). Once the documentation has been delivered to the landlord and the dwelling is vacated, the tenant’s obligation for future rent and other sums ends. The tenant does not need to provide written notice of termination to the landlord. Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence

32 Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence
This does not affect a tenant's liability for delinquent, unpaid rent or other sums owed to the landlord before the lease was terminated by the tenant, unless the lease does not contain language substantially equivalent to the following: "Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving family violence or a military deployment or transfer.” The TAR Residential Lease contains such language in Paragraph 28A. Paragraph 28A(2) specifically discusses family violence. A landlord who violates this section is liable to the tenant for actual damages, a civil penalty equal in amount to the amount of one month's rent plus $500, and attorney's fees. Special Statutory Rights: Family Violence

33 Special Statutory Rights
Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate a lease early in certain situations involving: Family Violence Sex Offenses or Stalking Military Entrance, Deployment or Transfer Special Statutory Rights

34 Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking
Texas Property Code § governs the rights and duties of the parties. Paragraph 28A(3) in the TAR Residential Lease: Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking

35 Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking
A tenant may terminate the lease and avoid liability for future rent and any other sums due under the lease for terminating, if the tenant is a: Victim of certain sexual offenses or stalking, or Parent or guardian of a victim of certain sexual offenses or stalking. *A tenant who is a parent or guardian of a victim must reside with the victim to exercise these rights. Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking

36 Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking
If the tenant is a victim or a parent or guardian of a victim of: sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, indecency with a child, sexual performance by a child, continuous sexual abuse of a child, or an attempt to commit any of the foregoing offenses, that takes place during the preceding six-month period on the premises or at any dwelling on the premises, the tenant must provide to the landlord or the landlord's agent a copy of… Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking

37 Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking
Documentation of the assault or abuse, or attempted assault or abuse, of the victim from a licensed health care services provider who examined the victim; Documentation of the assault or abuse, or attempted assault or abuse, of the victim from a licensed mental health services provider who examined or evaluated the victim; Documentation of the assault or abuse, or attempted assault or abuse, of the victim from an individual authorized under Chapter 420, Government Code, who provided services to the victim; or Documentation of a protective order issued under Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure, except for a temporary ex parte order. Texas Government Code 420 “Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services” (referring to advocate for victim who has received specialized training). Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking

38 Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking
If the tenant is a victim or a parent or guardian of a victim of stalking, that takes place during the preceding six-month period on the premises or at any dwelling on the premises, the tenant must provide to the landlord or the landlord's agent a copy of: Documentation of a protective order issued under Chapter 7A or Article 6.09, Code of Criminal Procedure, except for a temporary ex parte order; or Documentation of the stalking from a provider of services described in previous slide (See Sexual Offenses slide, item 1-3) and: A law enforcement incident report; or If a law enforcement incident report is unavailable, another record maintained in the ordinary course of business by a law enforcement agency. More strict because it requires a law enforcement incident report or similar. Must meet stalking definition under Texas Penal Code : Sec STALKING. (a) A person commits an offense if the person, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct that: (1) constitutes an offense under Section 42.07, or that the actor knows or reasonably should know the other person will regard as threatening: (A) bodily injury or death for the other person; (B) bodily injury or death for a member of the other person's family or household or for an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship; or (C) that an offense will be committed against the other person's property; (2) causes the other person, a member of the other person's family or household, or an individual with whom the other person has a dating relationship to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or in fear that an offense will be committed against the other person's property, or to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended; and (3) would cause a reasonable person to: (A) fear bodily injury or death for himself or herself; (B) fear bodily injury or death for a member of the person's family or household or for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship; (C) fear that an offense will be committed against the person's property; or (D) feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended. (b) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree, except that the offense is a felony of the second degree if the actor has previously been convicted of an offense under this section or of an offense under any of the following laws that contains elements that are substantially similar to the elements of an offense under this section: (1) the laws of another state; (2) the laws of a federally recognized Indian tribe; (3) the laws of a territory of the United States; or (4) federal law. (c) For purposes of this section, a trier of fact may find that different types of conduct described by Subsection (a), if engaged in on more than one occasion, constitute conduct that is engaged in pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct. (d) In this section: (1) "Dating relationship," "family," "household," and "member of a household" have the meanings assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code. (2) "Property" includes a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section , Human Resources Code. Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking

39 Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking
For both scenarios, a tenant may exercise the rights to terminate the lease, vacate the dwelling before the end of the lease term, and avoid liability beginning on the date after all of the following events have occurred: The tenant provides a copy of the relevant documentation described by previous slides to the landlord or landlord’s agent; The tenant provides written notice of termination of the lease to the landlord on or before the 30th day before the date the lease terminates; The 30th day after the date the tenant provided notice under Subdivision (2) expires; and The tenant vacates the dwelling. (h) A tenant may not waive a tenant's right to terminate a lease before the end of the lease term, vacate the dwelling, and avoid liability under this chapter. Note: Does not allow tenant to avoid liability for future sums upon vacating if a cotenant or co-occupant commits the sexual offense. Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking

40 Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking
This does not affect a tenant's liability for delinquent, unpaid rent or other sums owed to the landlord before the lease was terminated by the tenant, UNLESS the lease fails to contain language substantially equivalent to the following: "Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving certain sexual offenses or stalking.” The TAR Residential Lease contains the necessary language. A landlord who violates this section is liable to the tenant for actual damages, a civil penalty equal to the amount of one month's rent plus $500, and attorney's fees. A person who receives information under this section (this includes the landlord and landlord’s agent) may not disclose the information to any other person except for a legitimate or customary business purpose or as otherwise required by law. Special Statutory Rights: Sexual Offenses & Stalking

41 Special Statutory Rights
Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate a lease early in certain situations involving: Family Violence Sex Offenses or Stalking Military Entrance, Deployment or Transfer Special Statutory Rights

42 Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment
The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), gives servicemembers special statutory rights to terminate a lease early in certain circumstances. In Texas, Texas Property Code § also governs the rights and duties of the parties. Paragraph 28A(1) of the TAR Residential Lease: Remember, federal law will almost always preempt state law, so Texas law will work together with federal law. Sec RIGHT TO VACATE AND AVOID LIABILITY FOLLOWING CERTAIN DECISIONS RELATED TO MILITARY SERVICE. (a) For purposes of this section, "dependent," "military service," and "servicemember" have the meanings assigned by 50 App. U.S.C. Section 511. (b) A tenant who is a servicemember or a dependent of a servicemember may vacate the dwelling leased by the tenant and avoid liability for future rent and all other sums due under the lease for terminating the lease and vacating the dwelling before the end of the lease term if: (1) the lease was executed by or on behalf of a person who, after executing the lease or during the term of the lease, enters military service; or (2) a servicemember, while in military service, executes the lease and after executing the lease receives military orders: (A) for a permanent change of station; or (B) to deploy with a military unit for a period of 90 days or more. (c) A tenant who terminates a lease under Subsection (b) shall deliver to the landlord or landlord's agent: (1) a written notice of termination of the lease; and (2) a copy of an appropriate government document providing evidence of the tenant's entrance into military service if Subsection (b)(1) applies or a copy of the servicemember's military orders if Subsection (b)(2) applies. (d) Termination of a lease under this section is effective: (1) in the case of a lease that provides for monthly payment of rent, on the 30th day after the first date on which the next rental payment is due after the date on which the notice under Subsection (c)(1) is delivered; or (2) in the case of a lease other than a lease described by Subdivision (1), on the last day of the month following the month in which the notice under Subsection (c)(1) is delivered. (e) A landlord, not later than the 30th day after the effective date of the termination of a lease under this section, shall refund to the residential tenant terminating the lease under Subsection (b) all rent or other amounts paid in advance under the lease for any period after the effective date of the termination of the lease. (f) Except as provided by Subsection (g), this section does not affect a tenant's liability for delinquent, unpaid rent or other sums owed to the landlord before the lease was terminated by the tenant under this section. (g) A tenant who terminates a lease under Subsection (b) is released from all liability for any delinquent, unpaid rent owed to the landlord by the tenant on the effective date of the lease termination if the lease does not contain language substantially equivalent to the following: "Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving family violence or a military deployment or transfer." (h) A landlord who violates this section is liable to the tenant for actual damages, a civil penalty in an amount equal to the amount of one month's rent plus $500, and attorney's fees. (i) Except as provided by Subsection (j), a tenant's right to terminate a lease before the end of the lease term, vacate the dwelling, and avoid liability under this section may not be waived by a tenant. (j) A tenant and a landlord may agree that the tenant waives a tenant's rights under this section if the tenant or any dependent living with the tenant moves into base housing or other housing within 30 miles of the dwelling. A waiver under this section must be signed and in writing in a document separate from the lease and must comply with federal law. A waiver under this section does not apply if: (1) the tenant or the tenant's dependent moves into housing owned or occupied by family or relatives of the tenant or the tenant's dependent; or (2) the tenant and the tenant's dependent move, wholly or partly, because of a significant financial loss of income caused by the tenant's military service. (k) For purposes of Subsection (j), "significant financial loss of income" means a reduction of 10 percent or more of the tenant's household income caused by the tenant's military service. A landlord is entitled to verify the significant financial loss of income in order to determine whether a tenant is entitled to terminate a lease if the tenant has signed a waiver under this section and moves within 30 miles of the dwelling into housing that is not owned or occupied by family or relatives of the tenant or the tenant's dependent. For purposes of this subsection, a pay stub or other statement of earnings issued by the tenant's employer is sufficient verification. Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment

43 Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment
A tenant who is a: Servicemember, or A dependent of a servicemember may be able to vacate the dwelling leased by the tenant and avoid liability for future rent and all other sums due under the lease for terminating the lease and vacating the dwelling before the end of the lease term. “Servicemember” includes members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “Dependent” includes the servicemember’s spouse, child, or an individual for whom the servicemember provided more than one-half of the individual’s support for 180 days. Except as provided by Subsection (j), a tenant's right to terminate a lease before the end of the lease term, vacate the dwelling, and avoid liability under this section may not be waived by a tenant. COVERAGE UNDER THE ACT from Members covered by SCRA include all members on Federal active duty, including regular members of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard); Reserve, National Guard and Air National Guard personnel who have been activated and are on Federal active duty (whether as volunteers or as a result of involuntary activation); inductees serving with the armed forces; Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Officers detailed for duty with the armed forces; persons who are training or studying under the supervision of the United States preliminary to induction; and National Guard and Air National Guard personnel on duty for training or other duty authorized by 32 U.S.C. §502(f) at the request of the President, for or in support of an operation during a war or national emergency declared by the President or Congress. In addition, certain benefits are extended to dependents of members and all benefits are extended to citizens of the United States serving with the armed forces of the U. S. allies during the time of war. Also, courts and administrative agencies may extend a stay, postponement, or suspension and may vacate or set-aside a judgment, when done for a member pursuant to SCRA, with regard to a surety, guarantor, endorser, accommodation maker, co-maker, or other person who is or may be primarily or secondarily subject to the obligation or liability. SCRA does not cover or protect members of Reserve, National Guard and Air National Guard components not on active duty; retired personnel; and National Guard and Air National Guard troops called to duty under Title 32 U.S.C. state orders, EXCEPT for those troops called up under 32 U.S.C. §502(f) for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds. Note: ANG personnel on Title 10 orders are covered by the SCRA. Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment

44 Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment
A tenant may terminate the lease at any time after: The tenant’s entrance into military service; or The date of the military orders for a: For a permanent change of station; or To deploy with a military unit or as an individual in support of a military operation for a period of not less than 90 days. The lease must be either: Executed by or on behalf of a person who thereafter and during the term of the lease enters military service; or Executed by the servicemember, while in military service, who thereafter receives military orders for a permanent change of station or to deploy as specified above. “Military service” is (A) in the case of a servicemember who is a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard— (i) active duty, as defined in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States Code ( “Full-time duty in the active military service of the US. Includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the secretary of the military department concerned. Does not include full0time National Guard duty.”), and (ii) in the case of a member of the National Guard, includes service under a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under section 502(f) of title 32, United States Code, for purposes of responding to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds; (B) in the case of a servicemember who is a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, active service; and (C) any period during which a servicemember is absent from duty on account of sickness, wounds, leave, or other lawful cause. Note: A lessee’s termination of a lease will also terminate any obligation a dependent of the lessee may have under the lease. Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment

45 Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment
Termination is made by delivering written notice of termination, along with a copy of the military orders to the landlord or landlord’s agents. Notice is effective 30 days after the first date the next rental payment is due after the notice is delivered, if rent-paying period is one month. If rent-paying period is not one month, termination will be effective on the last day of the month following the month in which the notice is delivered. Example: Notice is given September 15. Rent is due on the 1st of each month. Notice is therefore effective October 31st. Delivery of notice: 1) Hand delivery, 2) Private business carrier, 3) US Mail, RRR. Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment

46 Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment
Rent amounts that are unpaid for the period prior to the effective date of the termination will be paid on a prorated basis. Any amounts paid in advance for a period after the termination date will be refunded within 30 days of the effective date. The landlord may not impose an early termination charge, but this does not affect a tenant's liability for delinquent, unpaid rent or other sums owed to the landlord before the lease was terminated by the tenant, except as provided below: A tenant who terminates a lease is released from all liability for any delinquent, unpaid rent owed to the landlord by the tenant on the effective date of the lease termination if the lease does not contain language substantially equivalent to the following: "Tenants may have special statutory rights to terminate the lease early in certain situations involving family violence or a military deployment or transfer.“ The TAR Residential Lease contains the necessary language. A landlord who violates this section is liable to the tenant for actual damages, a civil penalty in an amount equal to the amount of one month's rent plus $500, and attorney's fees. Delivery of notice: 1) Hand delivery, 2) Private business carrier, 3) US Mail, RRR. Any person who knowingly seizes, holds, detains, or interferes with the removal of the: personal effects, security deposit, or other property of a servicemember or a servicemember's dependent who lawfully terminates a lease, for the purpose of subjecting or attempting to subject any of such property to a claim for rent accruing subsequent to the date of termination of such lease, or attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both. Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment

47 Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment
A tenant and a landlord may agree that the tenant waives a tenant's rights if the tenant, or any dependent living with the tenant, moves into base housing or other housing within 30 miles of the dwelling. A waiver under this section must be signed and in writing in a document separate from the lease and must comply with federal law. A waiver does not apply if: The tenant or the tenant's dependent moves into housing owned or occupied by family or relatives of the tenant or the tenant's dependent; or The tenant and the tenant's dependent move, wholly or partly, because of a significant financial loss of income caused by the tenant's military service. § 517. Waiver of rights pursuant to written agreement [Sec. 107] (a) In general. A servicemember may waive any of the rights and protections provided by this Act. Any such waiver that applies to an action listed in subsection (b) of this section is effective only if it is in writing and is executed as an instrument separate from the obligation or liability to which it applies. In the case of a waiver that permits an action described in subsection (b), the waiver is effective only if made pursuant to a written agreement of the parties that is executed during or after the servicemember's period of military service. The written agreement shall specify the legal instrument to which the waiver applies and, if the servicemember is not a party to that instrument, the servicemember concerned. (b) Actions requiring waivers in writing. The requirement in subsection (a) for a written waiver applies to the following: (1) The modification, termination, or cancellation of— a contract, lease, or bailment; or (c) Prominent Display of Certain Contract Rights Waivers. Any waiver in writing of a right or protection provided by this Act that applies to a contract, lease, or similar legal instrument must be in at least 12 point type. “Significant financial loss of income" means a reduction of 10 % or more of the tenant's household income caused by the tenant's military service. A landlord is entitled to verify the significant financial loss of income in order to determine whether a tenant is entitled to terminate a lease if the tenant has signed a waiver under this section and moves within 30 miles of the dwelling into housing that is not owned or occupied by family or relatives of the tenant or the tenant's dependent. For purposes of this subsection, a pay stub or other statement of earnings issued by the tenant's employer is sufficient verification. Special Statutory Rights: Military Entrance, Transfer, or Deployment

48 Questions

49 Lease Termination & Special Statutory Rights
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