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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102191
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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I'm renting (3br 2bath) for $1225/month. I have been a tenant

Customer Question

I'm renting (3br 2bath) for $1225/month. I have been a tenant here since Sept 2012 and am 10 months in to my second 2yr lease. This February, the landlord ripped out the shower stall to replace the sewer line in the master bathroom. Todate it has still not been repaired. From April 11 to late June there has been a huge pile of dirt in the front yard where they dug up the sewer line. The lawn has not been fixed and I'm concerned it will turn to weeds if it's not addressed ASAP, it's already started to grow weeds. and have still not installed a new one. A month ago I sent this text, "Is this bathroom only getting worked on one day a week? What's the deal with the dirt? How long until I'm able to get my life back in order here?" Her reply, "Yes, the bathroom is on the weekends as Jade has time. Just the way it's going to be. I would recommend getting your life back in order around the dirt and shower."
I do not want to move. I feel that I should not have to pay full rent while I'm being denied the full use of my house. What can I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information 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; (B) Due to possible ethical issues, the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature; and (C) There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.
I am sorry to hear about this situation.
Texas law demands that the landlord repair any condition that affects a tenant’s health and safety. Under Texas Property Code §92.052 et seq, a landlord is required to make a diligent effort to repair or remedy a condition materially affects the physical health or safety of the tenant. In addition, if the landlord block part of the property, one can also ask for lowered rent under the same doctrine.
If the landlord does not fix the problem after being notified by the tenant in writing and given reasonable time to do so, the tenant has the right to:
-terminate the lease, or
-have the condition remedied and deduct from the rent, or
-sue for damages and injunction to do repairs not exceeding $10,000 in the Justice of the Peace Court.
However, this is not automatic. To get the rent lowered due to the issue, one has to follow certain steps. See here and scroll down to Option #3: Repair and deduct to do so.
Good luck.
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