my mother and her husband and have been renting a house for the passed three years without a rental agreement. this week a waterline to the waterheater bursted leaving their whole house flooded. when they called their landlord to fix the pipe and have the carpets cleaned their landlord told them it would be two weeks before he could even get anyone out there to clean the carpets, and when they explained to him how bad it smelled and what the mold would do to the carpet he flipped out and told them to move out they have just been evicted. i was wondering if since they dont have apaper rental agreement if he could legally evict them and expect them to move out that weekend?
Construction / Development Lawyer
Typically, a landlord is required to provide 30 days notice to vacate when there is no written lease. However, if the property is uninhabitable, and has to be closed, the landlord may direct the tenant to vacate without the required notice. But, the landlord has to refund any rent not earned. The provisions of Texas Property Code section 92.055 is set out below.
The web address for Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code, so that you can review all of the landlord - tenant provision is:
Texas Property Code Chapter 92 - Landlord - Tenant Residential Property
Sec. 92.055. Closing the Rental Premises.
(a) A landlord may close a rental unit at any time by giving written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the tenant and to the local health officer and local building inspector, if any, stating that:
(1) the landlord is terminating the tenancy as soon as legally possible; and
(2) after the tenant moves out the landlord will either immediately demolish the rental unit or no longer use the unit for residential purposes.
(b) After a tenant receives the notice and moves out:
(1) the local health officer or building inspector may not allow occupancy of or utility service by separate meter to the rental unit until the officer certifies that he knows of no condition that materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant; and
(2) the landlord may not allow reoccupancy or reconnection of utilities by separate meter within six months after the date the tenant moves out.
(c) If the landlord gives the tenant the notice closing the rental unit:
(1) before the tenant gives a repair notice to the landlord, the remedies of this subchapter do not apply;
(2) after the tenant gives a repair notice to the landlord but before the landlord has had a reasonable time to make repairs, the tenant is entitled only to the remedies under Subsection (d) of this section and Subdivisions (3), (4), and (5) of Subsection (a) of Section 92.0563; or
(3) after the tenant gives a repair notice to the landlord and after the landlord has had a reasonable time to make repairs, the tenant is entitled only to the remedies under Subsection (d) of this section and Subdivisions (3), (4), and (5) of Subsection (a) of Section 92.0563.
(d) If the landlord closes the rental unit after the tenant gives the landlord a notice to repair and the tenant moves out on or before the end of the rental term, the landlord must pay the tenant's actual and reasonable moving expenses, refund a pro rata portion of the tenant's rent from the date the tenant moves out, and, if otherwise required by law, return the tenant's security deposit.
(e) A landlord who violates Subsection (b) or (d) is liable to the tenant for an amount equal to the total of one month's rent plus $100 and attorney's fees.
(f) The closing of a rental unit does not prohibit the occupancy of other apartments, nor does this subchapter prohibit occupancy of or utility service by master or individual meter to other rental units in an apartment complex that have not been closed under this section. If another provision of this subchapter conflicts with this section, this section controls.