A landlord who in bad faith retains a security deposit in violation of this subchapter is liable for an amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld, and the tenant’s reasonable attorney’s fees in a suit to recover the deposit.
A landlord who in bad faith does not provide a written description and itemized list of damages and charges in violation of this subchapter:
forfeits the right to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring suit against the tenant for damages to the premises; and
is liable for the tenant’s reasonable attorney’s fees in a suit to recover the deposit.
In an action brought by a tenant under this subchapter, the landlord has the burden of proving that the retention of any portion of the security deposit was reasonable.
A landlord who fails either to return a security deposit or to provide a written description and itemization of deductions on or before the 30th day after the date the tenant surrenders possession is presumed to have acted in bad faith.Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. April 1, 2002.