Texas has multiple laws protecting tenants from dangerous or unreasonable living circumstances due to neglect by their landlords. A Fort Worth property management company should be well-versed in these regulations, so they know when it’s appropriate to delay or refuse repairs on a rental unit and when a lack of response puts them at risk of litigation.
What Kinds of Repairs are Required?
- Right to Habitable Housing
Under the legal definition of “implied warranty of habitability” Texas property owners are required to maintain a livable premise. This means repairs such as a broken furnace or water heater must be addressed or the tenant has a right to “repair and deduct” the charge from rent.
- Right to Health and Safety
A tenant has a right to repairs for issues that affect the physical health or safety of the tenant. This could include rats, cockroaches, faulty electrical wiring, plumbing issues, and roof leaks. If the Fort Worth property management company refuses to fix issues compromising the health and safety of the tenant, SB 1448 grants the justices of the peace to order the repair for problems not exceeding $10,000.
- Right to Security
Although there are exceptions, Texas law requires Fort Worth property management companies to equip each unit with proper security devices, including window latches, keyed deadbolts for all outside access doors, sliding door security, and door viewers. If these safety measures are broken or missing, a tenant has a right to have any of these repaired at the landlord’s expense.
Can Fort Worth Property Management Refuse to Make Repairs?
- The tenant is behind on rent payments, or
- The tenant or a person in connection with the tenant caused the damage
What Is the Process for Tenants to Submit a Request?
Ultimately, this process can be tailored, but should generally consist of these steps:
- The tenant must be fully up on rent payments
- The tenant should take pictures of the condition needing repair
- The tenant should submit a written request for the repair
Always keep copies of all communications documents. After a repair is requested, a quick response from the landlord on the progress of the repair will help keep relationships between management and tenant positive.
A Fort Worth property management company can be at risk of serious fines by not complying with the regulations regarding living conditions and repair needs for their rental homes. Enlisting the help of experts in Texas repair requirements will ensure your property is always safely within regulation. Specialized has over 30 years of experience maintaining rental property and following rental rules and will ensure you are legally protected and your tenants are comfortable in their home.
Learn more about our expertise management services at www.specializedrpm.com