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Liability for Tenant Terminating Lease when Landlord has made Home Substandard.

Fort Worth, TX |

Landlord is in New York, tenant in Texas. There is no property manager. Landlord has had to do continuous repairs to this old busted up home. Leaking ceiling in garage from drains, sewer leaking into room downstairs near 2 year old bedroom, not fixed for weeks and weeks. Codes was called by tenant 2 times, landlord acted the first time, 2nd time codes posted substandard notice saying no one can enter property until issues are fixed. Tenant has about 1.5 months left on lease. There is a mountain of evidence, photos, emails, videos, codes officers showing the Landlords neglect. Can tenant walk away without worry? Even though tenant already has vacated property, tenant has never been late on rent and is still current on rent even now, having paid current months rent while vacating prop

near 2 year old's bedroom. Meaning a toddler is near this health and safety risk. If I need to spell it out, its a health risk because its feces water leaking into large room adjacent to toddler's room. Also garage ceiling has been leaking water from plumbing for months and dry wall has fallen from the ceiling several times = safety hazard for anyone walking into garage. Not to mention the mold that is everywhere because of these feces water leaks.

Attorney Answers 2


Can you walk away without worry? No. There is a chance the landlord will sue you. There is a chance they will add you to a "deadbeat tenants" list (the later is unlikely for a small absentee landlord). If they send you a demand letter (especially one from an attorney) making it appear that they will sue, you should definitely get a lawyer.

If you are still in the property, you should contact a lawyer and learn the precise steps you need to take to get out of the lease.

Good luck.

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Codes posted the home as "substandard" its against the law to enter the home now, how does that play into effect in regards to a law suit. Won't a judge see that and find in our favor? Also, we are still current on rent, so why so many threatening letters from the landlord's lawyers? I can still decide to pay the last 1.5 months rent and then what does the Landlord have against me? Currently I have done nothing wrong, however the landlord has made the place un-inhabitable. You say hire an attorney, but that costs money and i guess i could pay rent and then sue the landlord to get my rent money back? I just figure i will make the landlord work for his money because its harder for me to get it from him and to withhold it and let him do what he wants. I don't care about being on a deadbeat tenant list.


In order to terminate a lease early for health and safety conditions, you must follow the proper procedures precisely. Further information can be found here: and here:

If this response was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. The response provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice, nor does it establish or intend to establish an attorney-client relationship. You should always speak with a licensed attorney regarding your legal rights before taking or not taking any particular action. In certain jurisdictions, this response may be considered an advertisement. In such circumstance, Kevin M. Koel is responsible for all content stated in the response. Kevin M. Koel is not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for any particular practice area, nor does Kevin M. Koel claim specialized knowledge in any practice area.

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So if you do not follow the procedures EXACTLY then you are saying I will loose if we go to court? Don't judges allow for a little leniency in regards to tenants who are living in feces soak carpet? We have a boat load of emails, we sent a certified letter, and are you saying if we forgot to include 1 small thing then we will loose? I just don't see how this is fair or just in anyway, seeing that the Landlord has made the home unlivable. Codes posted the home as "substandard" its against the law to enter the home now, how does that play into effect?

Kevin Matthew Koel

Kevin Matthew Koel


No, what I am saying is that if you do not follow the procedure you might lose if you are sued. Your particular situation definitely would come into consideration and it is probably sufficient for a claim of constructive eviction. If you want legal advice about whether to keep paying rent or if you can sue your landlord, go speak with a lawyer.

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