Texas Security Deposit Laws

There is no security deposit limit per the state of Texas, but many cities and towns impose their own limits for landlords.
Written by Jim Alexander
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Renters’ and landlords’ rights in Texas are governed by the Texas Civil Code, which does not set any maximum security deposit limits across the state. However, your city or town can enact regulations to control the amount a landlord can require for a security deposit.
The Civil Code does mandate that landlords return your security deposit within 30 days of moving out unless you’ve breached the terms of your lease or damaged the rental unit.
It can be time-consuming to figure out what rights you have as a renter—and let’s be honest, a read through the Texas Civil Code is enough to put anyone to sleep. 
Instead, why not let renters' and
car insurance
help? Here, Jerry has compiled answers to all your top questions about security deposits for renters in Texas.
While we're at it, we'll even show you how to save on
Texas insurance costs
Let Jerry find you the best homeowners insurance policy for your needs
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score
Shop Now
* checking your rate won’t affect your credit score

What is Texas law on security deposits?

Renters’ and landlords’ rights are laid out in the Texas Civil Code.
Subchapter C, Sec 92.100
in the Property Code is where you can read the legalese if you wish. 
 In the Lone Star State, a landlord may charge renters a security deposit, which is a down payment on a rental property separate from the monthly rent. When the renter moves out, the landlord must return the security deposit.
The code specifies that a landlord may keep part or all of your security deposit in certain circumstances, but for the most part they’re required to give your deposit back within 30 days after your term ends. 

What is the maximum security deposit a landlord can charge in Texas? 

There is no security deposit limit dictated by the Texas state government, but towns and cities can regulate security deposits as they see fit. 
That said, most security deposits fall between one to two months’ worth of rent. So if your monthly rent is $1,000, most renters will not pay a security deposit over $2,000.
Security deposit requirements are expected upon move-in in addition to the first month’s rent. Therefore, a hypothetical renter paying $1,000 a month may need to pay around $3,000 to cover a security deposit and initial rent at once. 

How long does a landlord have to return a security deposit in Texas? 

Texas landlords must return your security deposit within 30 days of the end of your lease
As the renter, you must provide the landlord with your new address so the security deposit can reach you on time. 

What can a landlord withhold a security deposit for in Texas?

Texas property law limits the reasons why a landlord may withhold some or all of your security deposit at the end of your rental. Here are the only reasons why landlords can withhold money:
  • Breach of the leasing agreement
  • Abnormal damage to the property
If your landlord withholds money due to damages you’ve caused, they must provide you with an itemized list of all deductions (unless you abandon the rental without paying your rent in full).
Texas code specifies that landlords cannot charge you for normal wear and tear. This points to a gray area of the law—what is normal wear and tear, and what is abnormal damage?
Some situations can be quite clear, like if you flood the apartment because you forgot to turn off the bathtub or punched a hole in the wall. To avoid running into a dispute, take pictures of the apartment as you find it when you move in. That way, any damages from previous tenants can’t be pinned onto you.
Key Takeaway Renters in Texas are entitled to have their full security deposit returned to them unless they breach their lease agreement or cause damage beyond normal wear and tear.

How to get your security deposit back in Texas

Renters in Texas are to give their landlord a forwarding address to receive their security deposit. As long as you’ve done that, you can expect your full security deposit back within 30 days.
But if 30 days pass and there’s no sign of your money, what should you do? The best practice is to contact your old landlord—there may have just been a mix-up. The check may have gotten lost in the mail, or the landlord may have forgotten to keep your new address.
If you do encounter a landlord who refuses to return your security deposit or withholds funds and does not give you an itemized list of deductions, you have the right to sue them in
small claims court

How to save money on car and renters insurance in Texas

Have you ever filled out car insurance forms? Then you know how miserable it can be. 
You probably didn’t know all the answers. You may have called your mom for help. And, when you finished the final questions, you certainly weren't inspired to shop around and fill out more forms to make sure you were getting the best price.
That’s the story of how people end up
paying too much for insurance
. Who can blame you for thinking that the plan and price would be competitive, accurate, and fair after answering all those questions? 
Instead, try
, the
trustworthy insurance comparison app
. Jerry customers save an average of $887 a year on car insurance payments—and all it takes is a few swipes and clicks.
“This app is all about savings!
just saved me $193/month on my car insurance. They literally found me the cheapest policies out there and with better coverage! Seriously, just sit back and watch Jerry work its magic.” —Rachel B.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
Find insurance savings


No—Texas law does not allow renters the option to use their security deposits as a rental payment.
No—unless you’ve damaged the carpet beyond normal wear and tear and the landlord can deduct from your deposit.
Save an average of 18% by bundling your home and auto insurance
Bundle your home and auto insurance with Jerry and save!
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings