What rights do I have when renting an apartment to having liveable conditions?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What rights do I have when renting an apartment to having liveable conditions?

We have an 8 month old and have had so many problems living at this complex. The first apartment we had flooded due to the dishwasher; it took them a month to fix it even after I slipped and fell with my baby. Now they put me in a different apartment and it’s infested with roaches.

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes. 

When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  Health and safety issues constitute breaches of the implied warranty of habitability.

When you slipped and fell with your baby, you could have filed separate personal injury claims for yourself and your baby with the landlord's insurance carrier. When you and your baby each complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain the medical bills, medical reports and documentation of your wage loss.  Your baby's personal injury claim should include the medical bills and medical reports.  Your personal injury claim filed with the landlord's insurance carrier should include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the nature and extent of the injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If your personal injury case is settled with the landlord's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If your baby's case is settled with the landlord's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the landlord's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the landlord for negligence.  If your baby's case is not settled, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your baby.  If a case is NOT settled with the landlord's insurance carrier, you will need to file the lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you and/or your baby will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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