The Texas Attorney General has a website on tenant rights that covers
"Recovering Your Deposit. Most landlords require you to pay a security
deposit to cover any repairs needed when you move out or to cover your
failure to pay the last month's rent. By law, landlords cannot refuse
to return the deposit without a valid reason.
Deductions for damages. Under Texas law, you must give the landlord a
forwarding address and the landlord must return the deposit?less amount
deducted for damages?within 30 days. If the landlord withholds part or
all of your deposit, he or she must give you an itemized list of
deductions with a description of the damages.
Normal wear and tear. The landlord may not charge you for normal wear
and tear on the premises and may only charge for actual abnormal damage.
For example, if the carpet simply becomes more worn because you and your
guests walked on it for a year, the landlord may not charge you for a
new carpet. If your water bed leaks and the carpet becomes mildewed as a
result, you may be charged.
Advance notice requirements. You should check your rental agreement to
see if it requires you to give the landlord advance notice that you are
moving. Many leases require 30 days notice as a condition of returning
If you give your landlord your new address in writing and you do not
receive your deposit or an explanation within 30 days of your departure,
contact the landlord. If you cannot resolve the problem satisfactorily,
call your lawyer. Contact the Better Business Bureau, your local
tenant's council, or the Attorney General regional office nearest you;
these agencies offer a dispute resolution services to help resolve such
The Attorney General has a "Contact" page, if you want to complain to
Phone: (800) 252-8011 or (800) 621-0508
The Better Business Bureau has a "locate" web page if you want to file
a complaint with them.
If you need any clarification, please feel free to ask.
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