Ask 2: Can a renter deny a landlord access to a rental property due to fear of COVID-19 exposure?

Keys in a door.
Keys in a door. (© WDnet Agency

HOUSTONAt KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

Question: Has there been any change to the requirements to allow landlords access to a rental property due to fear of COVID-19?

Answer: With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing in the Houston area, understandably, many are concerned about being exposed to the virus. Renters may worry about allowing people, including their landlords, into their homes for fear for spreading the virus.

However, tenants cannot refuse landlords access to property due to fear of contracting COVID-19, according to Texas Realtors.

RELATED: Know your rights as a renter amid growing evictions during the coronavirus pandemic

Additionally, Subparagraph C of Paragraph 14 of the Residential Lease (TXR 2001) and Residential Lease for Multi-family Property Unit (TXR 2011) allows landlords to charge a fee if a tenant refuses access or fails to make the property accessible.

However, a tenant could possibly be granted accommodations under the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act, if the tenant or resident is at higher risk of developing severe illness due to COVID-19 exposure, according to Texas Realtors.

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