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Is it legal to rent a home without a certificate of occupancy in TX?

Austin, TX |

I rented a home 6 months ago and was the first tenant to live here after the home was extensively remodeled. Since then, I've had massive problems with electrical, plumbing, moisture penetration/foundation issues and have learned that the work was not permitted or done up to code. No C.O. inspection was ever done after this extensive remodel and no Certificate of Occupancy is on file. Am I living in an illegal rental unit?

I've heard that in most states a landlord cannot collect rent on a unit that does not have A Certificate of Occupancy. Is that also the state law in Texas?

To top off my nightmare, I also just learned that the landlord/property management company are practicing real estate in TX without a license. Can I sue them civilly for this and get my money back?

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Attorney answers 1


If the house does not have a certificate of occupancy, it may illegal for you to live there, which would probably be a violation of the lease.

As to the real estate license, the landlord is certainly able to buy and sell his own properties. I'm not hearing any grounds for you to sue him for that.

If you want to get out of the lease, talk to a lawyer in your area about the condition of the house, and bring the lease agreement and any evidence you have that the property is not inhabitable.

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