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Tenant’s Remedies when a Landlord fails to repair Residential Property per the Texas Property Code

A Tenant’s Remedies

Section 92.056 generally makes the landlord liable to the tenant if the tenant meets the requirements of Section 92.052. The landlord, however, has a reasonable period of time to repair the condition. Section 92.56(d) states a reasonable period of time is seven days. “To rebut that presumption, the date on which the landlord received the tenant’s notice, the severity and nature of the condition, and the reasonable availability of materials and labor and of utilities from a utility company must be considered.”

Under Section 92.053, the Burden of Proof (BOP) falls upon the tenant to enforce any inaction by a landlord failing to repair or remedy a Section 92.052 condition. Once the tenant proves their claim the BOP shifts to the landlord.

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This BOP may shift back to the tenant if the landlord provides a written explanation for any delay within 5 days of the landlord receiving notice of the repair. The landlord will have to prove “the landlord made a diligent effort to repair and that a reasonable time for did not elapse.” TX. Prop. Code § 92.053.

Tenant Remedies

A “tenant to whom a landlord’s is liable” may terminate the lease, have the condition repaired or remedied and deduct the cost as provided by Section 92.0561 and seek judicial remedies.

Conclusion

A tenant who is not behind in their rent may impose a duty on the landlord to repair or remedy a condition that would adversely affect an ordinary tenant’s physical health or safety.

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