Texas Property Code Chapter 92 – Property Security

Locks, Fire Detectors and Windows

The Texas Property Code, Section 92, explains the requirements concerning the security of your house and rental property.  This is especially important when it comes to Section 8 housing.  The following video and part of the Texas Property Code gives you a good understanding of what you need to do to be compliant with the law in Texas.

A Section of the Texas Property Code 92 – Dealing with Locks

Sub-Chapter D: Security Devices

Sec. 92.151.  Definitions – In This Sub-Chapter:

    1. “Doorknob lock” means a lock in a doorknob, with the lock operated from the exterior by a key, card, or combination and from the interior without a key, card, or combination.
    2. “Door viewer” means a permanently installed device in an exterior door that allows a person inside the dwelling to view a person outside the door. The device must be:
      1. A clear glass pane or one-way mirror; OR
      2. A peephole having a barrel with a one-way lens of glass or other substance providing an angle view of not less than 160 degrees.
    3. “Exterior door” means a door providing access from a dwelling interior to the exterior. The term includes a door between a living area and a garage but does not include a sliding glass door or a screen door.
    4. “French doors” means a set of two exterior doors in which each door is hinged and abuts the other door when closed. The term includes double-hinged patio doors.
    5. “Keyed dead bolt” means: A door lock not in the doorknob that:
      1. Locks with a bolt into the doorjamb; and
      2. Is operated from the exterior by a key, card, or combination and from the interior by a knob or lever without a key, card, or combination; OR
      3. A doorknob lock that contains a bolt with at least a one-inch throw.

    1. “Keyless bolting device” means a door lock not in the doorknob that locks:
      1.  With a bolt into a strike plate screwed into the portion of the doorjamb surface that faces the edge of the door when the door is closed or into a metal doorjamb that serves as the strike plate, operable only by knob or lever from the door’s interior and not in any manner from the door’s exterior, and that is commonly known as a keyless dead bolt;
      2. By a drop bolt system operated by placing a central metal plate over a metal doorjamb restraint that protrudes from the doorjamb and that is affixed to the doorjamb frame by means of three case-hardened screws at least three inches in length. One-half of the central plate must overlap the interior surface of the door and the other half of the central plate must overlap the doorjamb when the plate is placed over the doorjamb restraint. The drop bolt system must prevent the door from being opened unless the central plate is lifted off of the doorjamb restraint by a person who is on the interior side of the door.

        The term “keyless bolting device” does not include a chain latch, flip latch, surface-mounted slide bolt, mortise door bolt, surface-mounted barrel bolt, surface-mounted swing bar door guard, spring-loaded nightlatch, foot bolt, or other lock or latch; OR

      3. By a metal bar or metal tube that is placed across the entire interior side of the door and secured in place at each end of the bar or tube by heavy-duty metal screw hooks. The screw hooks must be at least three inches in length and must be screwed into the door frame stud or wall stud on each side of the door. The bar or tube must be capable of being secured to both of the screw hooks and must be permanently attached in some way to the door frame stud or wall stud. When secured to the screw hooks, the bar or tube must prevent the door from being opened unless the bar or tube is removed by a person who is on the interior side of the door.

    1. “Landlord” means a dwelling owner, lessor, sublessor, management company, or managing agent, including an on-site manager.
    2. “Multiunit complex” means two or more dwellings in one or more buildings that are:
      1. Under common ownership;
      2. Managed by the same owner, agent, or management company; and
      3. Located on the same lot or tract or adjacent lots or tracts of land.

    1. “Possession of a dwelling” means occupancy by a tenant under a lease, including occupancy until the time the tenant moves out or a writ of possession is issued by a court. The term does not include occupancy before the initial occupancy date authorized under a lease.
    2. “Re-key” means to change or alter a security device that is operated by a key, card, or combination so that a different key, card, or combination is necessary to operate the security device.
    3. “Security device” means a doorknob lock, door viewer, keyed dead bolt, keyless bolting device, sliding door handle latch, sliding door pin lock, sliding door security bar, or window latch in a dwelling.
    4. “Sliding door handle latch” means a latch or lock:
      1. Located near the handle on a sliding glass door;
      2. Operated with or without a key; and
      3. Designed to prevent the door from being opened.

  1. “Sliding door pin lock” means a lock on a sliding glass door that consists of a pin or nail inserted from the interior side of the door at the side opposite the door’s handle and that is designed to prevent the door from being opened or lifted.
  2. “Sliding door security bar” means a bar or rod that can be placed at the bottom of or across the interior side of the fixed panel of a sliding glass door and that is designed to prevent the door from being opened.
  3. “Tenant turnover date” means the date a tenant moves into a dwelling under a lease after all previous occupants have moved out. The term does not include dates of entry or occupation not authorized by the landlord.
  4. “Window latch” means a device on a window that prevents the window from being opened and that is operated without a key and only from the interior.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 16, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 92.152.  Application of Subchapter

    1. This subchapter does not apply to:
      1. A room in a hotel, motel, or inn or to similar transient housing;
      2. Residential housing owned or operated by a public or private college or university accredited by a recognized accrediting agency as defined under Section 61.003, Education Code;
      3. Residential housing operated by preparatory schools accredited by the Texas Education Agency, a regional accrediting agency, or any accrediting agency recognized by the commissioner of education; or
      4. A temporary residential tenancy created by a contract for sale in which the buyer occupies the property before closing or the seller occupies the property after closing for a specific term not to exceed 90 days.

  1. Except as provided by Subsection (a), a dwelling to which this subchapter applies includes:
    1. A room in a dormitory or rooming house;
    2. A mobile home;
    3. A single family house, duplex, or triplex; and
    4. A living unit in an apartment, condominium, cooperative, or townhome project.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 126, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 92.153.  Security Devices Required Without Necessity of Tenant Request.

    1. Except as provided by Subsections (b), (e), (f), (g), and (h) and without necessity of request by the tenant, a dwelling must be equipped with:

      1. A window latch on each exterior window of the dwelling;
      2. A doorknob lock or keyed dead bolt on each exterior door;
      3. A sliding door pin lock on each exterior sliding glass door of the dwelling;
      4. A sliding door handle latch or a sliding door security bar on each exterior sliding glass door of the dwelling; and
      5. A keyless bolting device and a door viewer on each exterior door of the dwelling.

    1. If the dwelling has French doors, one door of each pair of French doors must meet the requirements of Subsection (a) and the other door must have:
      1. A keyed dead bolt or keyless bolting device capable of insertion into the doorjamb above the door and a keyless bolting device capable of insertion into the floor or threshold, each with a bolt having a throw of one inch or more; OR
      2. A bolt installed inside the door and operated from the edge of the door, capable of insertion into the doorjamb above the door, and another bolt installed inside the door and operated from the edge of the door capable of insertion into the floor or threshold, each bolt having a throw of three-fourths inch or more.

    1. A security device required by Subsection (a) or (b) must be installed at the landlord’s expense.
    2. Subsections (a) and (b) apply only when a tenant is in possession of a dwelling.
    3. A keyless bolting device is not required to be installed at the landlord’s expense on an exterior door if:
      1. The dwelling is part of a multiunit complex in which the majority of dwelling units are leased to tenants who are over 55 years of age or who have a physical or mental disability;
      2. A tenant or occupant in the dwelling is over 55 years of age or has a physical or mental disability; and
      3. The landlord is expressly required or permitted to periodically check on the well-being or health of the tenant as a part of a written lease or other written agreement.

    1. A keyless bolting device is not required to be installed at the landlord’s expense if a tenant or occupant in the dwelling is over 55 years of age or has a physical or mental disability, the tenant requests, in writing, that the landlord deactivate or not install the keyless bolting device, and the tenant certifies in the request that the tenant or occupant is over 55 years of age or has a physical or mental disability. The request must be a separate document and may not be included as part of a lease agreement. A landlord is not exempt as provided by this subsection if the landlord knows or has reason to know that the requirements of this subsection are not fulfilled.
    2. A keyed dead bolt or a doorknob lock is not required to be installed at the landlord’s expense on an exterior door if at the time the tenant agrees to lease the dwelling:
      1. At least one exterior door usable for normal entry into the dwelling has both a keyed dead bolt and a keyless bolting device, installed in accordance with the height, strike plate, and throw requirements of Section 92.154; and
      2. All other exterior doors have a keyless bolting device installed in accordance with the height, strike plate, and throw requirements of Section 92.154.

    1. A security device required by this section must be operable throughout the time a tenant is in possession of a dwelling. However, a landlord may deactivate or remove the locking mechanism of a doorknob lock or remove any device not qualifying as a keyless bolting device if a keyed dead bolt has been installed on the same door.
    2. A landlord is subject to the tenant remedies provided by Section 92.164(a)(4) if the landlord:
      1. Deactivates or does not install a keyless bolting device, claiming an exemption under Subsection (e), (f), or (g); and
      2. Knows or has reason to know that the requirements of the subsection granting the exemption are not fulfilled.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Sec. 92.154.  Height, Strike Plate, and Throw Requirements–Keyed Dead Bolt or Keyless Bolting Device.

    1. A keyed dead bolt or a keyless bolting device required by this subchapter must be installed at a height:
      1. Not lower than 36 inches from the floor; and
      2. Not higher than:
        1. 54 inches from the floor, if installed before September 1, 1993; or
        2. 48 inches from the floor, if installed on or after September 1, 1993.

    1. A keyed dead bolt or a keyless bolting device described in Section 92.151(6)(A) or (B) in a dwelling must:
      1. Have a strike plate screwed into the portion of the doorjamb surface that faces the edge of the door when the door is closed; OR
      2. Be installed in a door with a metal doorjamb that serves as the strike plate.

  1. A keyed dead bolt or keyless dead bolt, as described by Section 92.151(6)(A), installed in a dwelling on or after September 1, 1993, must have a bolt with a throw of not less than one inch.
  2. The requirements of this section do not apply to a keyed dead bolt or a keyless bolting device in one door of a pair of French doors that is installed in accordance with the requirements of Section 92.153(b)(1) or (2).

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 92.155.  Height Requirements–Sliding Door Security Devices.

A sliding door pin lock or sliding door security bar required by this subchapter must be installed at a height not higher than:

  1. 54 inches from the floor, if installed before September 1, 1993; OR
  2. 48 inches from the floor, if installed on or after September 1, 1993.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 92.156.  Rekeying or Change of Security Devices. (a)

  1. A security device operated by a key, card, or combination shall be rekeyed by the landlord at the landlord’s expense not later than the seventh day after each tenant turnover date.
  2. A landlord shall perform additional rekeying or change a security device at the tenant’s expense if requested by the tenant. A tenant may make an unlimited number of requests under this subsection.
  3. The expense of rekeying security devices for purposes of the use or change of the landlord’s master key must be paid by the landlord.
  4. This section does not apply to locks on closet doors or other interior doors.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 92.157.  Security Devices Requested By Tenant.

    1. At a tenant’s request made at any time, a landlord, at the tenant’s expense, shall install:
        1. A keyed dead bolt on an exterior door if the door has:
          1. A doorknob lock but not a keyed dead bolt; OR
          2. A keyless bolting device but not a keyed dead bolt or doorknob lock; and

      1. A sliding door pin lock or sliding door security bar if the door is an exterior sliding glass door without a sliding door pin lock or sliding door security bar.

    1. At a tenant’s request made before January 1, 1995, a landlord, at the tenant’s expense, shall install on an exterior door of a dwelling constructed before September 1, 1993:
      1. A keyless bolting device if the door does not have a keyless bolting device; and
      2. a door viewer if the door does not have a door viewer.

  1. If a security device required by Section 92.153 to be installed on or after January 1, 1995, without necessity of a tenant’s request has not been installed by the landlord, the tenant may request the landlord to immediately install it, and the landlord shall immediately install it at the landlord’s expense.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 92.158.  Landlord’s Duty to Repair or Replace Security Device.

During the lease term and any renewal period, a landlord shall repair or replace a security device on request or notification by the tenant that the security device is inoperable or in need of repair or replacement.

Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 357, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

See the entire document at: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PR/htm/PR.92.htm#92.003

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