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Can you withhold a rental payment for failure of the apartment complex to fix problems with the unit until they are fixed?

San Marcos, TX |

My daughter was charged for a full month of rent in August but couldn't move in until August 19th because they were getting the apartments ready. She's been in two weeks now and there are still many issues to be repaired including the dryer, a ceiling fan, a broken chair, etc. Do we have a legal right to withhold the rent until these items are fixed since they were supposed to be done by the 19th?

Attorney Answers 1


Although I am not licensed to practice in Texas, I suggest that your daughter's position depends on what she wants to do? If she has a year's lease is it worth while fighting? If it is month to month, then she can just terminate at the end of the month. Were these repairs made part of the written lease?

You would have to read the statutes as to withholding rent. Certainly, she has to make written demand for each item; the two weeks unearned rent, the repairs etc. Only after a reasonable time has passed without action by the landlord, can she claim "constructive eviction" and give notice that she is going to leave.

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