In Texas, your landlord is required to repair most conditions that are caused by regular wear and tear, and that affect your health and safety. This includes roach and rat infestations, sewage and roof leaks, faulty wiring, ripped carpets and broken flooring. Landlords must also tend to damages caused by emergency situations such as fire, hailstorms, hurricanes and floods. Tenants with disabilities may be eligible for additional repairs. Make sure that your lease does not include any clauses that waive your right to demand repairs from your landlord – while these clauses are often considered as void in a court of law, it will save you time and effort to modify the lease at the outset instead of seeking legal recourse at a later date.
Do note that landlords in Texas are not required to repair conditions that do not affect your health and wellbeing (such as fixing a dishwasher), and those that are created by the tenants and their guests (such as broken doors and windows). And as a tenant, you are responsible for paying your rent on time, failing to do which your landlord may deny paying for repairs.
When requesting your landlord to undertake repairs, you must provide written notice of the conditions you are seeking repairs for, with accompanying photographs. Our Repair Request Letter makes it easy for you to list the issues, provide details, firmly indicate the law or ordinance being violated, and tactfully requests that the situation be resolved in a manner that precludes any further legal actions on your part.
Remember to keep a copy of this letter as proof, date the letter and send it to your landlord by certified mail, return receipt requested – the latter ensures that you are not required by state law to send a second written notice. Following receipt of the notice, your landlord will be allotted 'reasonable time' to make the repairs; this period may vary, depending on the circumstances, but in most cases is presumed to be up to seven days. Your landlord must make a diligent attempt to resolve the issue within this period of time.