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Housing Rights for Victims of Family Violence

Are you a victim of family violence? You have rights as a tenant.

If you are a victim of family violence renting in Texas, you have the right to:

Seek police or emergency assistance in response to family violence at any time. *A landlord cannot evict or penalize you for the presence of police or emergency assistance at your residence due to family violence. A landlord cannot ask you to waive this right in a lease or at any point.

If you are living with an abuser in a rental property in Texas, you have the right to:

 Terminate your lease without penalty by providing your landlord a copy of a protective order or a temporary injunction to stop family violence within a divorce. 

If you live in Public Housing, Project -Based Section 8 Housing, or are in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), a landlord or Public Housing Authority (PHA):

  • Cannot deny you housing assistance or admission to public housing solely because you are a victim of family violence.
  • Cannot terminate your housing assistance because you are a victim.
  • Cannot evict you because you are a victim.
  • Cannot sexually harass you. (He or she may not create a hostile living environment for you or demand sexual favors in exchange for housing assistance or repairs.)
  • Must honor any court order, such as a protective order, that addresses access to or control of the property.
  • May remove your abuser from the lease or your voucher, while allowing you to stay.
  • Must maintain the confidentiality of any information or documents you provide.
  • Must allow you to transfer your voucher to another jurisdiction for your safety.

If you believe you have been wrongfully denied assistance, receive notice that your voucher is being terminated, or you receive an eviction notice:

  • Request an appeal hearing in writing before the deadline listed on the notice.
  • Consult with a housing attorney immediately.
  • For referrals, call 2-1-1 or our legal help directory.

If you believe your rights have been violated or you need to move for safety reasons:

To locate a Family Violence program near you call:

National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.SAFE or 800.787.3224 (TTY)

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice.This project was supported by Award No. WF-04-V30-14108-09 awarded by the State of Texas, Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Family Violence Program.

Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking Form

If you are seeking VAWA protections from your housing provider, your housing provider may give you a written request that asks you to submit documentation about the incident or incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

In response to this request, you or someone on your behalf may complete this optional form and submit it to your housing provider,

Click the link below for a form to help you execute on your rights as a victim of domestic violence. 

Click here