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My apartment was recently flooded from a sprinkler system…

My apartment was recently...

My apartment was recently flooded from a sprinkler system going off as a result of a fire in another unit. My apartment was flooded and resulted in two walls torn down and the floor in the entirety of the unit except for the bathroom being removed. I was wondering if this would cause the unit to be practically uninhabitable as stated under Texas Property code 92.054. I'm currently staying in a hotel that is being compensated for by management.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

They started demolishing my unit two days after the unit flooded. I have already given them a letter stating that I'd be willing to buyout a part of my lease to give me time to empty all my stuff out of the apartment. Also in that letter I notified them of the repairs being needed. Management has yet to hear anything from the insurance company and has no timeline for the actual repairs.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I also gave them notice to being looking for a sublet for my apartment, and they've already declined my buyout offer. I guess my main question is if this would consider the apartment "practically unusable for residential purposes". There are 3 large fans in my unit and a dehumidifier that they want being ran constantly to help mitigate the possibility of mold.

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
12/14/2017
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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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. (You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.)

The answer is yes. If half of the walls are torn out and there is general damage, no one can be expected to live there. As such, the tenant (i.e. you) has a couple of options.

1) If the damage was due to the landlord (i.e. their sprinkler malfunctioned), then one can terminate the lease without fault, or, sue for damages and injunction to do repairs not exceeding $10,000; or

2) If the damages was not because of the landlord but also not the tenant, then the lease is terminated due to the doctrine of impossibility. Both parties simply walk away.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hi Ely it's one wall in each of the room. I'm going to attach photos of the unit just to make sure. The management has already said the owners (a ~$4.5 billion investment group) will fight me if I terminate the lease.

Thank you. There is no way someone can be expected to live in a semi-wrecked apartment. That is simply ridiculous.

Assuming it was not your fault, then if/once they stop paying for the temporary accommodations, someone in your situation can demand to fix the issues within a reasonable amount of time (in writing).

If they do not, then someone in your situation can terminate the lease. They can try to pursue you for breach of lease, and if so, those photos would become handy (in that and a counter-action for the deposit back).

Kind Reminder: Please, use SEND button to keep chatting, or please rate positively and click SEND to submit your rating once satisfied. You may always ask follow ups at no charge before or after rating. "I STRIVE FOR FIVE!"

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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