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MDLawyer
MDLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6133
Experience:  10 years in legal practice. Over 5 years in advising clients on landlord/tenant issues, including on a pro bono basis.
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I'm having problems with my rental management company and

Customer Question

I'm having problems with my rental management company and was wondering if, for any reason, I can get out of my lease. I live in Dallas and its a large company (Gables) so I'm pretty sure the lease cover's their butts completely but I thought I would check. Here are my issues in less than 2 months of being a lessee:
-I moved here from out of state and emails/calls weren't returned for days, even weeks, when I was trying to organize a move I couldn’t be there for. I sometimes had to contact Villa Rosa's leasing office 3 times before getting anywhere. Not to mention I was already paying rent 2 months before I moved in. I deserved to be treated like a tenant.
- My A/C didn't work when I moved in and it took 3 visits from maintenance to fix it. I would wake up miserable some nights because it would turn off in the middle of the night and the temperature would be almost 90 degrees in my unit. After fiddling with it for 10 mins or so I could get it to turn back on but I had to do this a few different nights.
-I was locked in a sweltering stairwell in July with groceries because the fobs were not working properly and maintenance had to come let me out.
-I was treated like a child when I asked why I was charged extra for rent, which I was not given an itemized receipt for even when I requested it. I wasn’t arguing with the staff member and was simply asking why. She instructed me to “take note of my lease”. A few of the leasing staff have been quiet short with me and I’m pretty easy going. I worked in customer service for years and understand how hard it is.
-Today, while I was home and there was no prior notice, a maintenance worker attempted to enter my apartment first without knocking and using his keys than a few mins later with knocking to check on something routine- not emergent- that I should have been notified about. This may not be a law in Texas like it is in California, however, it is incredibly unprofessional and a violation of privacy to enter a unit without giving the renter notice. *NOTE: I read on Texas Tenant Advisor.org that if you are home, you are in charge and the management must ask to enter. They didn't even knock and just tried to unlock the door but I have a deadbolt from the inside. This seems like a real invasion of privacy and who knows how many other units they just entered without the tenants knowing.*
-And don’t even get me started on the fire alarms. I understand routine checks but I have counted 3 times they have just been alarming for no apparent reason. Once for almost an hour and that's just when I have been home.
Thanks for your help,
Yvonne
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Yvonne and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to assisting you today although I am sorry to hear about your situation. I too live in an apartment community in Dallas. You have asked if you can get out of your lease. Generally speaking, you would only be able to get out of your lease if they are in breach of the lease. For example, you mentioned the a/c. With this weather here in TX, being without a/c even for a little while is definitely frustrating and sometimes unbearable. If it was a situation where they did not fix it, then they could potentially be considered in breach. However, the law does require that they be given a chance to fix and repair and if they do repair, then you cannot break the lease for that reason.

Unfortunately, being rude is also not a legally valid lease for which a tenant can break a lease. With respect to entering the apartment, I would need to know exactly what your lease states about maintenance entering the apartment. Normally, they can only enter with prior notice or if you have requested that maintenance be performed and, of course, they should always knock first. I would be livid if a maintenance worker came in to my apartment with no notice. Of the scenarios you have given, none would allow you to legally break your lease without consequence. What I would do in your situation is to send a written letter to the property manager voicing all of your concerns. Often, the main person may not even be aware of what is going on with their subordinates although a good property manager would be aware.

Please let me know if this has answered your question. If it has not, please let me know how else I can assist you and what additional information you would like.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi Yvonne,

Please let me know if I have answered your question. If you need additional information, just let me know. If, however, I have fully answered your question, please be so kind as to leave me a positive rating so that I may receive credit from Just Answer for the time spent assisting you.