landlord=artist with cottage behind home, rented out to a "friend"tenant="friend" running a therapy office from cottagelease=ends in June, 2013; photocopied from form used by apartment complex; didn't realize until recently that this is not legalTenant has a found a new office. Started sending very insulting e-mails to landlord. First claimed she wanted out because the lawn wasn't well enough watered over the summer and repairs not done soon enough. Landlord countered politely: "health and safety" were never an issue and handy man will swear he did repairs as soon as possible (within 2 weeks). Insulting e-mails from the tenant have escalated, first demanding the landlord sign a release from the contract immediately; then saying she would be out by the end of Feb.and wasn't paying anything else.Now the tenant has hired a lawyer who demands the security deposit back and Feb. rent pro-rated and returned since the tenant decided to move out Feb. 5.i had understood that if a lease was broken by a tenant, the landlord retained the security deposit to cover cost of advertising; that the tenant was responsible for the entire amount of rent but that this was usually settled at about 2 and a half month's rent.Since an invalid form was used, perhaps the lease is null and void. It was however signed by both parties in good faith. Does the landlord have to return the security deposit and the pro-rated Feb. rent? Does the landlord need to retain a lawyer?
State/Country relating to question: Texas
Austin Tenant's Council (www.housing-rights.org) telephone line and website which quotes Texas Legal Code 92
So since there was no written lease legally entered, what we have here is a monthly lease, and the tenant was required to provide one full month notice before vacating. The tenant owes Feb in full. Since there was no legal written lease, assuming the unit was not damaged, the security cannot be retained.
23 years as attorney NY and FL Bars.
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