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You Must ALWAYS Stay On Top of Changing Housing Regulations if You Own a Rental

A magnifying glass on top of a document that has torn out pieces of paper on top of it that say "regulations" and "compliance".


There’s a lot that goes into real estate investing. When you own a rental property, you can’t just “set it and forget it,” as a famous saying goes.

Real estate investing isn’t a completely hands-off process, even if you work with a trusted Austin property management team. You must stay on top of changes in local housing regulations and overall legal regulations to make sure that you are compliant and doing everything that’s required of you as a rental property owner.

Below are some things you must always stay on top of if you own a rental property.

Austin City Council Passes Two Renter Ordinances

The Austin City Council recently passed two housing ordinances that affect the rules and regulations surrounding operating properties. Both affect how rental property owners must adhere to local housing regulations.

The first requires landlords to issue a notice of proposed eviction before they issue tenants a notice to vacate. As of November 7, 2022, any property that has more than four units must abide by these legal regulations that provides for a notice of seven days.

The second ordinance provides tenants a right to organize. While these protections were already provided under state law in Texas, Austin’s local regulations affirm tenants’ rights.

While these recent changes may not affect every rental property owner, they do serve as examples of how changes in local law can affect how real estate investing is done in a particular location.

What Housing Regulations or Legal Items Should I be Aware Of?

There are many different housing regulations that you should be aware of as a rental property owner. These include federal landlord-tenant laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Housing Act. These dictate the ways that a landlord can use the credit history of a tenant as part of the screening process, and prohibits discrimination in rentals, respectively.

There are also state laws in Texas that deal with everything from security deposits to rental applications, rent grace periods, landlord responsibilities, and property repairs and maintenance.

For example, in Texas, rent is considered late one day after the due date, which is typically the first of the month. While a lease can provide for a grace period, it doesn’t have to. 

Late fees can be assessed, but only if the rent is late by at least two full days. Even then, rental property owners in Texas can only charge from 10% to 12% in late fees, and cannot exceed that except for under certain circumstances. 

There are also local housing regulations and legal regulations to which you must adhere. The above examples of recent changes in Austin city ordinances are an example of that. 

Many local laws in relation to real estate investing have to do with complying with local codes. This could be anything from keeping the property well maintained to setting a maximum number of people who can rent a particular unit. 

An experienced Austin property management company such as 1836 Property Management can help walk you through all the local legal regulations that apply to your rental property.

Why Is It Important to Keep Yourself Informed of Changing Regulations?

It’s not good enough to only know what the housing regulations are when you first rent out your property. You need to stay on top of changing regulations as they come down so you can properly adjust your business model to stay in compliance.

If you don’t, there are a lot of huge downfalls you could face.

First, there are legal troubles that could abound. If you are found to be in violation of federal rental laws, for example, you could find yourself as part of a lawsuit. Not only could this be very costly, but it could also damage your reputation in the real estate investing business.

Many times, simply staying on top of changing regulations can help you avoid litigation. A little work in advance can save a ton of headaches in the long run.

Second, when you stay informed of changing regulations, you’ll be enabling your investment to succeed. If you’re not in compliance, you will likely experience delays in being able to lease your rental property, which could result in extended vacancies. As anyone in the business knows, long vacancy rates can spell doom.

Partner with a Professional Property Management Team That Always Stays Informed

Real estate investing can be very challenging. Not only do you have to get your rental property ready to lease and market it to available tenants, but you have to stay on top of constantly-changing local, state and federal regulations to ensure you stay in compliance with housing regulations and legal regulations.

That’s why it’s so beneficial to work with a professional property management team such as 1836 Property Management. The team managers at our office are licensed real estate agents and know the ins-and-outs of housing regulations and other necessities. 

When these regulations change, the 1836 Property Management professionals also know where to source the information that’s needed, which makes your entire rental property operation more efficient. 

We also have a legal team on retainer, ready to educate and assist if the need ever arises. This provides peace of mind and a sense of security to every real estate investor who works with us.

To find out more information on how we can benefit you in real estate investing, contact our Austin property management professionals today.

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By: Kayla Gonzales, 1836PM Marketing Manager

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