Answers to Common Questions Regarding Landlords and Tenants

Question: Does my Landlord have to repair damage to my property? If so, what procedures do I need to follow to request repairs? Also, I sent my Landlord a request for a repair but nothing has been done. What can I do?

Answer:  Landlords have an obligation to repair damage to the property if:

(1) the damage affects your physical health and safety; and/or

(2) when the landlord provides in the Lease that he/she will make the repair.

When the landlord must repair the damage, it is important that you follow the proper procedure. This procedure might be spelled out in the lease. If not, you should follow these steps. Why? If you do so, then you can get help from the law if the landlord refuses to make the repair.

Steps:
(1) Provide Notice: you must tell the landlord about the problem in writing. If you send this notice by certified mail, then you are not required by law to send a second notice.
(2) Pay your Rent: this is important because a landlord does not have to make repairs if you owe rent.
(3) Give the landlord enough time that is reasonable to fix the problem.
(4) Provide a Second Notice: send another notice to the landlord in writing that the problem has not been fixed, try to ask for an explanation, and say what actions you plan to take if the landlord doesn’t fix the problem (such as terminating the lease or filing a lawsuit).

Question: My roommate has left the property. Do I have to pay the entire rent amount?

Answer: Unfortunately, if your roommate moves out and refuses to pay, then you will be on the hook for the full rent. Even though both of your names are on the lease, the landlord views you as one tenant. This obligation can only be overcome if the lease specifies otherwise.

Question: Can I get out of my Lease?

Answer: Yes, you can get out of your lease by agreement, when the lease ends, or if one of the parties breaks the lease. An agreement can happen at any time when the landlord and tenant both agree to the termination. The lease will end when the lease time period is up. After this expiration, the tenant needs to notify the landlord as required by the lease. A party breaks the lease when they violate a provision of the lease such as failing to pay rent. If you don’t have a proper reason for terminating (such a military personnel who are allowed to prematurely terminate), then you will have to pay the remaining rent you owe. The lease is a binding contract, so the landlord will have legal options if you choose not to pay. The smart option is to talk to your landlord and try to find someone to take over the lease or reduce your payments.

Question: When will I get my security deposit back?

Answer: For a residence, the quick answer is 30 days. You must give the landlord a written statement of your forwarding address before the landlord is required to refund your security deposit. After 30 days, the landlord must either give you a refund or explain why they are going to keep some of the deposit. This explanation should describe any damage and how much the landlord intends to keep for each issue. Remember, it is extremely important that you provide a forwarding address because the 30 days requirement only starts when you give an address.

 
– The Business Team
Scott | Josh | Jeremy

The Allen Firm, PC
181 S. Graham Street | Stephenville, Texas 76401
Ph: 254.965.3185 | Fax: 254.965.6539

 

The Allen Firm, PC is composed of a team of attorneys located in Stephenville, Texas. Our mission is to improve people’s lives by providing reliable and practical help with their legal matters while operating under our values of honoring people, operating with integrity and striving for excellence. We offer help in forming businesses or companies, estate planning, lawsuits, real estate, probate, oil and gas, collections, agriculture, bankruptcy, family law, and accident and injuries.

 
 

*This article has been written and provided for educational purposes in an attempt to provide the reader with a general understanding of the particular topic and area of law covered in this Article.  It is not to be relied upon for any purpose.  The reader acknowledges the underlying analysis and legal conclusions referenced in this Article may be inaccurate by the changing of the law or by a controlling court opinion to the contrary.  No attorney-client relationship exists until an appropriate engagement letter has been signed. Contact our Firm to discuss how the contents of this Article may apply to your specific situation.