Legally, the law provides means that you can utilize to make your landlord repair unsafe conditions at your Denton, TX apartment. However, some negligent landlords just won’t make repairs under any circumstances. In that event, if you follow legally prescribed procedures, you might be able to end your lease and leave your negligent landlord behind.
At your Denton, TX apartment, your landlord holds legal responsibility to ensure your rights to:
* “Quiet enjoyment” of your apartment, and
* A healthy and safe apartment environment.
If your landlord won’t live up to his or her responsibilities, you might be able to end your lease. But first you must make serious, good faith efforts to get your negligent landlord to fix the unsafe condition at your Denton, TX apartment. You’ll need to follow these steps to ensure your rights:
1. Make sure that you have paid up the rent monies required to date by your lease, then
2. Mail your landlord a dated letter requesting repairs by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by registered mail. You can also deliver your letter in person. But if you do this, and the landlord fails to make repairs within a reasonable time, then you’ll still need to do the mailing and go through another reasonable period of waiting.
3. Always keep a copy of your letter and mailing receipts.
4. Your landlord should make diligent efforts to fix the unsafe condition at your Denton, TX apartment within a reasonable time after receiving your letter. A rebuttable presumption sets 7 days as a reasonable amount of time after receiving your letter.
5. If after all of this notification and waiting, your negligent landlord still fails to make repairs to the unsafe condition at your Denton, TX apartment, then you might be able to:
* End your lease;
* Get the unsafe condition repaired yourself and deduct the cost from your rent; or
* Get a court order telling the negligent landlord to make repairs of the unsafe condition.
We should emphasize here that taking action against a landlord, even a bad one that won’t make necessary repairs, could be fraught with dangers. So you should always consult with a good tenant attorney before setting course down that road. Your attorney could help you determine if your landlord may rebut the 7-day presumption under item 4. Your attorney’s counsel could also help you avoid dire mistakes.
Sometimes you may feel that an unsafe or unhealthy condition places you in danger of personal injury and requires repair. But the problem that’s bothering you at your Denton, TX apartment won’t actually meet the legal standard to allow you to end a lease. And if you break your lease without a legally valid reason and without following necessary procedures, you put yourself at your landlord’s mercy. (Few landlords seem to have much mercy; so don’t take chances here.)
Texas law gives renters some rights under the law. But individual renters still remain fairly powerless against property owners. So don’t take chances. Get a knowledgeable attorney on your side before you take action.