Texas law requires your landlord to fix a repair quickly after you requested it, but what if they ignore the law and your request? Once you've made a formal request, there are three things you can do to get your landlord in Texas to make necessary repairs.
- Fix it yourself
- Leave without notice
- Get a court order
- Take your landlord to court
Unlike in other parts of the country, Texas laws don't give you the right to withhold rent payments as a way to get your landlord to make repairs.
Keep in mind that you aren't allowed to do more than one of these things - in other words, you can't fix the problem, pay less rent and then try to terminate your lease.
Fix it yourself
If you want to stay in your apartment and you want the repair to get finished, your best option is to hire a contractor to fix it and take the expense out of your monthly rent payment. This is called repair and deduct. Keep in mind that this option will only work if it would cost less than a month of rent or $500 to make the fix.
Leave without notice
If the issue is extremely serious and would be expensive to repair then this is your best option. If you do this, then you're entitled to a rent refund of the difference between your move-out date and the lease termination date. You're also entitled to your security deposit.
Sue your landlord for damages
If you carefully documented the problem and it's clearly on their plate not yours (and not your fault), then you can sue them for damages in small claims court. When you do this, they'll get notice that you've filed a suit.
Get a court order
You can get an order from the court directing your landlord to fix the problem, reduce your rent or pay you in damage as well as pay $500 in civil penalties1. If your rent is reduced by the court, the reduction will be based on the reduced value of your apartment and the number of days since you sent a repair notice.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.