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Ask Michael Gonzalez Your Own Question
Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez,
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 532
Experience:  Managing Member at EWF Title, LLC
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My AC is not working right. I have asked my management

Customer Question

My AC is not working right. I have asked my management company to fix it since Tuesday and it still now working right? it Fort Worth it very hot. What can I do?
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Fort Worth Fossil Creek area
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: Uhh ? A new company just bought the property and I have sent emails that have bounced and to complicate matters I have an electrical problem no lights in the kitchen either
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: This is considered a luxury apartment my rent is 1400/ month
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 2 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.You generally cannot withhold your rent even if the landlord has failed to repair a problem it should have. Withholding rent will likely get you evicted in Texas.First, send written notice via certified mail to the management company and new owner.After the written notice, then wait a reasonable time. The repair statutes presume a reasonable time is seven days. But clearly a reasonable time will be shorter in some situations and longer in others. Section 92.056(d), Property Code.Check the lease to confirm that that the landlord is responsible for the A/C maintenance. Under Texas law, regardless of what the lease says the landlord is required to repair problems that materially affect the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant and are not caused by the tenant, occupant, or a guest. If the problem developed from normal use of the premises by the tenant, occupant or guest, the landlord is still responsible for repair.If not repaired then you have several options including but not limited to termination the lease and moving which may entitle to you to a refund of your security deposit. Also, you may repair the A/C and deduct that repair amount from your rent. Or, you can simply file suit to obtain damages and an order requiring the landlord to fix the problem.If you choose to sue for the landlord's failure to repair a condition that affects health or safety under the repair statutes, the court may: (1) direct the landlord to repair the condition;(2) reduce your rent from the date of your first written repair for the loss of value and use of the rental unit; (3) direct the landlord to pay you one month's rent plus $500 in penalties; and (4) award you the amount of your actual damages, court costs and attorney's fees (if you choose to have an attorney represent you).A hearing will be scheduled within one week of service of the documents on the landlord.
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 2 months ago.
You can terminate the lease, move, and attempt to recover the security deposit.Or, you can repair the A/C and deduct the amount of the repair from the rental payment.Or, you may sue the landlord in justice court for an order of repair and damages.If you choose to sue for the landlord's failure to repair a condition that affects health or safety under the repair statutes, the court may: (1) direct the landlord to repair the condition;(2) reduce your rent from the date of your first written repair for the loss of value and use of the rental unit; (3) direct the landlord to pay you one month's rent plus $500 in penalties; and (4) award you the amount of your actual damages, court costs and attorney's fees (if you choose to have an attorney represent you).A hearing will be scheduled within one week of service of the documents on the landlord.
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This answer is given based on the facts provided above. Contact a local attorney to further discuss these issues. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am not sure if you received my prior response.

In any event, you have several options.

First, you must send the landlord (and/or the management company) a dated letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by registered mail, outlining the needed repairs. Thereupon, your landlord is legally obligated to make a diligent effort to repair the problem within a reasonable time after receipt of the notice. The law presumes seven days to be a reasonable time. If the landlord has not made a diligent effort to complete the repair within seven days and you did not have the first notice letter delivered to your landlord via certified mail, return receipt requested, or via registered mail, you will need to send a second notice letter regarding the needed repairs.

If the landlord still has not made diligent efforts to repair the problem within a reasonable time after receipt of the notice letter sent by certified mail, return receipt requested or by registered mail, you may be entitled to terminate the lease, repair the problem and deduct the cost from your rent, or get a court to order that the repairs be made.

We recommend consulting a local landlord/tenant attorney to protect your rights and interests.

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