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Do you have a written lease? If so, is there a provision that indicates who (landlord or tenant) is responsible for repairs? Are some repairs the responsibility of the landlord and some of the tenant? If so, who is responsible for what?
I have been reviewing the landlord/tenant law in Texas. In Texas, as a tenant, You have the following rights and remedies:
You have a right to demand that the landlord repair any condition that materially affects your health and safety. Under Texas law, by renting you the property, the landlord guarantees that the unit will be a fit place to live.
SB 1448 (81st Regular Session), effective January 1, 2010, now grants justices of the peace authority to order landlords to repair or remedy conditions affecting a tenant's health and safety, as long as the cost of the repair does not exceed $10,000. Tenants can go to justice court without an attorney to obtain a repair order.
Under certain conditions, you and the landlord may have a written agreement that you will make needed repairs. The landlord does not have a duty to pay for or make repairs if you or your guests cause an unsafe or unhealthy condition through negligence, carelessness, abuse or accident-unless the condition resulted from "normal wear and tear."
Also, the landlord must provide smoke detectors. You may not waive that provision, and you may not disconnect or disable the smoke detector.
Although there are some specific exceptions, under Texas law, a dwelling must be equipped with security devices such as window latches, keyed dead bolts on exterior doors, sliding door pin locks and sliding door handle latches or sliding door security bars, and door viewers.
These devices must be installed at the landlord's expense. If such devices are missing or are defective, you have the right to request their installation or repair.
If the landlord won't make repairs needed to protect your health, safety, or security, and you follow the procedures required by law, you may be entitled to:
You MUST Follow These Steps:
Under Texas law, it is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against you for complaining in good faith about necessary repairs for a period of six months from the date you made such a complaint. Of course, you can always be evicted if you fail to pay your rent on time, threaten the safety of the landlord or intentionally damage the property.
You do not have a right to withhold rent because the landlord fails to make repairs when the condition needing repair does not materially affect your health and safety. If you try this method, the landlord may file suit against you.
Good luck to you.
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