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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54021
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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My son is paid up through the month of December, 2015. s

Customer Question

My son is paid up through the month of December, 2015. His landlady is a total nutcase. She derides him in front of her children and grandchildren over and over either about some small thing he either did or did not do but she makes up to embarrass him when she takes him to the store or to pick up a prescription. My son is disabled and she is supposed to be his caregiver also. He got his provider to give her more hours. She does not come the hours that she is supposed to anyway and nothing has changed. She also has his SSI card which she takes out money from and uses all up. She bought some clothes at a thrift store that he did not need or want - $120 worth. She was shopping for her kids at the time. David asked her to take them back since he likes to pick out his own things.
Now she says she wants him out by 12/26/2015. He is paid up to 12/31/2015 and it is hard to find anything or get in touch with anyone. David is not on any contract AND she did not have adequate cooling or any heating in this house in her back yard. There is not any insulation either. What are the laws here? - David's Mom
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

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Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

First, the landlord is in default here, not your son. With regard to the landlord's default and your son's remedies, the following Texas statute specifically provides as follows:

"Sec. 92.056. LANDLORD LIABILITY AND TENANT REMEDIES; NOTICE AND TIME FOR REPAIR. (a) A landlord's liability under this section is subject to Section 92.052(b) regarding conditions that are caused by a tenant and Section 92.054 regarding conditions that are insured casualties.

(b) A landlord is liable to a tenant as provided by this subchapter if:

(1) the tenant has given the landlord notice to repair or remedy a condition by giving that notice to the person to whom or to the place where the tenant's rent is normally paid;

(2) the condition materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant;

(3) the tenant has given the landlord a subsequent written notice to repair or remedy the condition after a reasonable time to repair or remedy the condition following the notice given under Subdivision (1) or the tenant has given the notice under Subdivision (1) by sending that notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by registered mail;

(4) the landlord has had a reasonable time to repair or remedy the condition after the landlord received the tenant's notice under Subdivision (1) and, if applicable, the tenant's subsequent notice under Subdivision (3);

(5) the landlord has not made a diligent effort to repair or remedy the condition after the landlord received the tenant's notice under Subdivision (1) and, if applicable, the tenant's notice under Subdivision (3); and

(6) the tenant was not delinquent in the payment of rent at the time any notice required by this subsection was given.

Text of subsection effective on January 01, 2016

(b) A landlord is liable to a tenant as provided by this subchapter if:

(1) the tenant has given the landlord notice to repair or remedy a condition by giving that notice to the person to whom or to the place where the tenant's rent is normally paid;

(2) the condition materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant;

(3) the tenant has given the landlord a subsequent written notice to repair or remedy the condition after a reasonable time to repair or remedy the condition following the notice given under Subdivision (1) or the tenant has given the notice under Subdivision (1) by sending that notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, by registered mail, or by another form of mail that allows tracking of delivery from the United States Postal Service or a private delivery service;

(4) the landlord has had a reasonable time to repair or remedy the condition after the landlord received the tenant's notice under Subdivision (1) and, if applicable, the tenant's subsequent notice under Subdivision (3);

(5) the landlord has not made a diligent effort to repair or remedy the condition after the landlord received the tenant's notice under Subdivision (1) and, if applicable, the tenant's notice under Subdivision (3); and

(6) the tenant was not delinquent in the payment of rent at the time any notice required by this subsection was given.

(c) For purposes of Subsection (b)(4) or (5), a landlord is considered to have received the tenant's notice when the landlord or the landlord's agent or employee has actually received the notice or when the United States Postal Service has attempted to deliver the notice to the landlord.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (b)(3) or (4), in determining whether a period of time is a reasonable time to repair or remedy a condition, there is a rebuttable presumption that seven days is a reasonable time. To rebut that presumption, the date on which the landlord received the tenant's notice, the severity and nature of the condition, and the reasonable availability of materials and labor and of utilities from a utility company must be considered.

(e) Except as provided in Subsection (f), a tenant to whom a landlord is liable under Subsection (b) of this section may:

(1) terminate the lease;

(2) have the condition repaired or remedied according to Section 92.0561;

(3) deduct from the tenant's rent, without necessity of judicial action, the cost of the repair or remedy according to Section 92.0561; and

(4) obtain judicial remedies according to Section 92.0563.

(f) A tenant who elects to terminate the lease under Subsection (e) is:

(1) entitled to a pro rata refund of rent from the date of termination or the date the tenant moves out, whichever is later;

(2) entitled to deduct the tenant's security deposit from the tenant's rent without necessity of lawsuit or obtain a refund of the tenant's security deposit according to law; and

(3) not entitled to the other repair and deduct remedies under Section 92.0561 or the judicial remedies under Subdivisions (1) and (2) of Subsection (a) of Section 92.0563.

(g) A lease must contain language in underlined or bold print that informs the tenant of the remedies available under this section and Section 92.0561."

With regard to the landlord wanting him out by 12.26.15, that's meaningless. Even if the landlord thinks your son is in default, the law does not allow the landlord to forcibly evict a tenant without obtaining an eviction order from a court. What that means is that if your son simply doesn't move out, the landlord must file an unlawful detainer petition with the court to prove the landlord's basis for an eviction order. Depending upon the court's docket, it can take anywhere from about 15 days to a couple of months to get a hearing. Your son will get a notice of this hearing and should attend and contest the landlord's right to terminate. If the judge finds in your son's favor, which would be the case given your facts, the landlord's petition will be dismissed without the eviction order being issued and that will be the end of it. Only if and when a judge has issued the eviction order can the landlord have your son evicted.

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