There are a lot of myths about renting that both landlords and tenants often operate under. The Austin Tenant's Council sets straight some of the laws in Texas governing renting.
If a tenant decides not to take an apartment, it's a myth that the landlord has to return the deposit. Many lease applications state that the landlord gets to pocket the entire deposit if the tenant decides not to take the unit after being approved. Even if that is not written into the lease, the landlord may be able to get reimbursed for expenses incurred from taking the property off the market, like advertising and lost rent.
There is also no "buyer's remorse" law in Texas. In other words, as soon as you sign a lease, the unit is yours and you are bound to the contract. Also, if the landlord doesn't follow parts of the lease, you can't just move out. The lease usually remains in effect until a court rules otherwise. There is also no limit on how much rent can be raised at the end of a lease. Another myth is that a lease is not binding until a tenant pays a deposit or moves in. The truth is that a lease is legally binding as soon as it is signed, whether or not the tenant pays any money.
There are several myths about repairs, as well. A tenant cannot withhold rent because the landlord hasn't made repairs. This is seen as retaliation and the tenant could be evicted and give up some rights under the law. A tenant also has no right to break the lease if the landlord fails to make repairs. There are specific procedures that must be followed, otherwise a tenant may have to pay damages to the landlord. Finally, a landlord is not required to provide air conditioning. If an a/c unit was not there when the tenant moved in, the landlord is not required to provide it unless there is a written agreement to do so.