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Questions About Repairs

by | Apr 18, 2011 | Renter's Rights, Renting 101 | 0 comments

Have a repair that needs to be done on your apartment? The Texas Apartment Associationn gives some great advice on that subject.

Can I stop paying rent until a repair is made?

No. Texas law prohibits “rent strikes” or withholding rent in order to force repairs. There are other remedies in the law to encourage property owners to make repairs.

What can I do if the dwelling owner will not make a repair?

If the lease requires the management to make repairs, inform the manager in writing and keep a dated copy. The law requires in nearly every instance that the owner must repair:

1. Security devices
2. Conditions that materially affect the health and safety of the ordinary resident.

Problems that cause discomfort or inconvenience are not covered by the statute.

* Give the manager written notice of the needed repairs, and keep a dated copy.
* If you don’t receive a response within a reasonable time, re-notify the manager orally and in writing.
* If you still don’t get a response, you may have legal grounds to exercise statutory rights of lease termination, compulsory repairs, damages, penalties, third-party repair and deduct, and attorney’s fees.
* Instead of giving two separate written notices, you can give a single notice by certified mail, return receipt requested.

You must follow specific procedures to exercise your statutory remedies, and disregarding those procedures can expose you to a civil damages suit against you by the owner. You may want to seek legal advice to exercise your statutory remedies (lease cancellation, compulsory repairs, etc.)

You may want to contact your city building inspector’s office or county health department if you feel the condition violates state statutes or local housing codes regarding safety and sanitation.

What is the dwelling owner required to repair or maintain?

Review the terms of your lease to see how repairs are addressed. The law requires in nearly every instance that the owner must repair:

1. Security devices
2. Conditions that materially affect the health and safety of the ordinary resident.

Problems that cause discomfort or inconvenience are not covered by the statute.

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