Today we are discussing Property Code compliance for Landlords and Property Management in Austin, including security devices and safety devices, habitability, city regulations and association regulations for your Austin rental property.

Security Devices

Security devices like the locks on your door are regulated by the State Property Code. For rental properties, you need a keyless deadbolt on every exterior door. You also need door viewers or peepholes on every exterior door. This includes the front door, back door and the dwelling door that goes to the garage. Additionally, if you have a balcony with an exterior door, it has to have the same security devices required by the Property Code. There are also requirements for sliding glass doors. You have to have a latching lock on the handle and a bar, which some people called a Charlie bar. You don’t need a pin lock in the frame anymore as of this year.

Special Safety Devices

In addition to those security features, you’re also required to install safety devices at your rental property. Smoke alarms are required in each bedroom and outside of each bedroom in a shared hallway. You need a smoke alarm on each level of the home. In Austin and other local municipalities, you might be required to have a carbon monoxide alarm, especially if you have an attached garage or fuel burning appliances. If there is a fuel burning appliance in a specific room of the home, such as a gas heater in the bathroom, you need a carbon monoxide alarm in that room. There are triggers for when you need to install those alarms. For example, if you have not serviced any of those fuel burning appliances, you need to have an alarm when you have them serviced. Know when these alarms are required and what types you need in order to stay out of trouble.


The city is going to require that your home is habitable. Each city has a different definition of this, but the laws are there and you need to know what they are, depending on where your rental property is located.

City Regulations

You’ll have city regulations as well, depending on where you’re living. In Austin, we don’t have many city regulations, but there is a regulation on short term rentals. So if you’re doing that, make sure you’re in compliance. Register with the city, be approved and follow all of the restrictions.

HOA Regulations

If your rental property is in an HOA, they are going to have their own regulations as well. They might restrict the types of vehicles you can park in the driveway, and they can limit the types of home businesses that are run from your rental property. Know those restrictions and do everything right.

Following all the required laws and regulations doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do need to make sure you’re up to date on them. If you need help or have questions, please contact us at Austin Landmark Property Services.