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Texas Landlord Duty to Make Repairs

Updated on November 1, 2012

Under TX Property Code §92.052, landlords are required to repair or remedy conditions which materially affect the physical health or safety of their tenants. However, although this is the general rule, there are several exceptions which limit the landlord’s obligation to provide tenants with a residence that is safe and sanitary. The following is a brief overview of each exception.

  • The landlord is not required to repair conditions which are caused by the tenant unless the condition is the result of normal wear and tear.
  • If certain conditions are met, the parties may agree in the lease that the tenant will be responsible for repairs which are normally the landlord’s responsibility (tenant would both hire the repairman and pay for the repairs ). For this exception to apply the following conditions must be met: Landlord must only own one rental residence, the residence must be free of any conditions which would materially affect the health or safety of a tenant, and the landlord must have no reason to believe the condition is likely to occur during the lease term.
  • The parties may agree in the lease that tenant pays for damage from wastewater stoppages, damage caused by tenant’s door or window being left opened, damage to doors, windows, or screens.
  • The landlord is not required to hire security guards unless the lease expressly provides that the landlord must do so

Except for these situations, a landlord may not limit his obligation to repair conditions which threaten a tenant’s health or safety. If the landlord attempts to do so, he or she may be liable to the tenant for actual damages, one month’s rent plus $2,000, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

It is important to note that the landlord’s duty to make repairs only applies if the tenant is current in paying their rent. The tenant must have also provided the landlord with proper notice regarding the need for repairs. Once the notice is received, the landlord must complete the requested repair within a “reasonable” amount of time. For most non-emergency repairs, seven days is considered to be a reasonable amount of time but the landlord may request more time if need be.

Disclaimer

The information in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice. The information provided is not intended to create, and viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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