The Texas House of Representatives is expected to pass a bill this week that will allow landlords to rent out rooms and bathrooms to their tenants for up to five days.
The measure would also allow them to use the money to pay for furniture, carpets, or other renovations, as long as it doesn’t result in a higher cost to the property owner.
The bill, H.R. 4836, would also remove existing state restrictions that prevent landlords from using money from their properties for renovations.
The House is expected take up the bill next week.
The Houston Chronicle’s Lauren Dufresne, a former tenant of a Houston apartment building who has written about the housing crisis in the city, explains that the bill’s most notable provisions are its broadened definition of a room and bathroom, its ban on using proceeds from renovation or repairs to rent-controlled units, and its ban from using the money for furniture.
The Senate is expected next week to take up similar legislation.
“It’s kind of a pretty expansive language to be able to use,” Dufersne told Ars.
“They want to have a little more flexibility to use these funds in a really, really broad sense.”
Houston-area apartment owners are scrambling to secure affordable rent to their properties.
As Houstonians begin to look for a place to live after the severe flooding and power outages of October, landlords are looking for ways to make the transition to a more livable rental community.
Many have already begun asking their tenants if they’d like to rent in their own apartments, and some are even offering incentives to do so.
A Texas landlord who recently posted a vacancy notice on Craigslist said that she’s looking to lease out his Houston apartment for five months to a year.
“The idea is to have more space in my apartment for my kids to play in and have some space to work from the office,” she wrote in a Craigslist ad.
“So we’ll have some extra storage for things that we want to keep.”
Another Houston landlord posted an ad on Craigslist offering a room to rent for up the price of $900.
“We are looking to rent our apartment for 5 months for a little under $900 per month,” the ad reads.
“If you are interested, please contact me.
We would love to have you! Thanks!”