What can I do if I continually ask the manager of my complex for repairs and they never make them?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do if I continually ask the manager of my complex for repairs and they never make them?

I live in a complex that offers reduced rent for low income families. There is always something going wrong – faucets break, AC/heat stops working (months before an arctic blast), ceiling is cracking and looking like it’s going to give way, or just waiting for replacement blinds. Our complex is comprised of mostly the maintenance man’s family, who usually get their repairs quickly. We are always watching their unit being worked on while we wait for months, even years in some cases. What can I do? Am I doomed because I don’t make enough money?

Asked on February 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In every residential lease there is what is known as an "implied warranty of habitability".  This gives a tenant the right to live in a safe and sanitary premises.  If a landlord refuses to make such necessary repairs, a tenant has the right to:  

  1. Repair and Deduct - Fix the problem and then charge the landlord for the cost of repair;
  2. Terminate the lease - End the tenancy and vacate the premises; and
  3. Withhold Rent - Refuse to make any further rental payments until the repair is properly made.

However, before a tenant should pursue any of these remedies, they should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney or tenant's rights organization.  If a tenant fails to follow the proper procedures for attempting these self-help measures, they could be held liable for breach of their lease. 

Note:  Depending on your income, you could also ask Legal Aid for assistance or the state/county bar association.  A  local law school clinic might also be of help to you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption