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barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 38175
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I need to know if it is legal for a landlord to change the

Customer Question

I need to know if it is legal for a landlord to change the locks on your unit and not allow you in your unit because if late rent? Also if repairs are not done/completed because you are behind on your rent is that allowed?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: yes the maintenance issues have been occurring since May. From mold in my closet from a leak in the unit above in May. A subsequent leak in the shower resulting in the ceiling collapsing and causing a huge hole in the ceiling. I have electric sockets and switches that do not work. I have not been issued a fire extinguisher and the ceiling fan is broken.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am a veteran who in the past have hit hard times and have been locked out by this complex for a week i was forced to sleep in hospital lobbies, on the patio of the unit and other unsuitable places. I have fallen behind before and maintenance would not be done until I was able to find the funds to get caught up in rent
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.


Expert:  barristerinky replied 11 months ago.

No, this is an illegal constructive eviction. If the landlord wants to get a tenant out, they have to first give a written 5 day notice to pay or vacate and then go through a formal eviction in court to get a judgment and a writ the sheriff or constable will execute to force the tenant to leave.


So if they have locked you out, you have the right to sue the landlord for breach of contract in small claims court and seek damages up to $10,000. Judges don't look very kindly on landlords who take this kind of action and can hit them pretty hard with penalties to set an example and deter future similar conduct..