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Can I Withhold Rent for Repairs in Texas?

You're not allowed to withhold rent in Texas until your landlord makes a repair—but they are required to fix the problem quickly.

Although Texas law allows you to repair certain conditions and deduct the cost from your monthly rent payment, it does not allow you to simply withhold or reduce rent.1 So, no—you can't withhold rent for repairs in Texas.

Okay—then how do I get my landlord to make a repair?

You have to provide your landlord with proper notice about whatever's broken, allow them time for the repairs to be made, and keep paying the rent while you wait for them to make the fix. It’s important to note that you must be completely up to date on your rent at the time you give this notice or else your options will be even more limited.

If this feels very doom and gloom to you, it's not! There's a big plus side for tenants in Texas in need of repairs: your landlord is legally required to fix the problem either immediately, in three days or seven days depending on the severity. That's much quicker than in most other states.

Could the laws be different in my city?

Because Texas contains so many large cities, there may be local municipal ordinances that provide you with more protections and remedies than what state law allows. Local attorneys will often provide a free consultation, and many of the cities have local non-profit agencies that can help guide you through the legal protections that might be available within your city.

Next steps

Consider either fixing the problem yourself or just terminating the lease and leaving. If you leave then you'd be entitled to a refund of your damage deposit, a pro rata refund of the amount of rent you already paid for that month and maybe even more damages if the problem was very severe.

[1] Texas Property Code § 92.0561

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.