How do I get my landlord to make necessary repairs?

UPDATED: Jul 20, 2011

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How do I get my landlord to make necessary repairs?

I have no deadbolt on my front door and have lived there for 3 months. My A/C has not worked properly ever and I just had a professional come out to look at it right after my landlord’s technician came (and sprayed freon out directly onto the side of the house and grass). The professional told me the compressor was broken and what air was coming in is basically just cooling the attic. I have everything documented. I have a backed up toilet that a plunger will not fix permanently that I have requested to be repaired as well. The list goes on… How do i sue and win?

Asked on July 20, 2011 Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which means that the landlord must maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When the landlord is notified by the tenant of the problem(s), the landlord has to respond within a reasonable time to make the repairs.

If landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time to remedy the problem(s), this constitutes a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The tenant's remedies for a breach of the implied warranty of habitability are to make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant decides to stay on the premises, withhold rent and defend against eviction.

The toilet problem is a health and safety issue and would probably constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The broken air conditioner it could be argued given the hot weather in TX may breach the implied warranty of habitability as a health and safety issue.  You could also argue that no deadbolt lock on the door would be a safety issue.


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