As property managers for about a dozen homes in the North Dallas area, we are often asked what has to be repaired and who pays for the repair. It’s not just our tenants who ask, but our homeowners as well. The answer to the question is found in the Texas Property Code and the lease between the parties.
The Texas Property Code, paragraph 92.052 outlines the owner’s requirement to make repairs. Basically, the tenant notifies the owner of the need for a repair, the tenant must be current on all rental payments, and the condition materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant. Further, unless the condition was caused by normal wear and tear, the landlord does not have to repair damage caused by the tenant, their family or guests.
The Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease goes into greater detail in paragraph 18. The owner will pay the entire cost of repairing the heat, air conditioning, hot water heater, or water penetration into the home from structural defects unless the damage was caused by the tenant.
It also states that the owner will not pay to repair any items damaged by the tenant, water stoppages caused by foreign objects, or items that are cosmetic in nature.
In some of the older versions of the lease, there was a requirement for the tenant to pay a deductible for repairs to the property. The Texas Association of REALTORS® deleted that paragraph as it was inappropriately applied to all requested repairs. Some property managers are putting that verbiage into the Special Provisions of the lease but it should not be applied to all repairs.
It's also important to note that not all owners use the Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease but the repair process, what will/will not be repaired, and who pays should be in the lease. When in doubt you should seek proper legal advice.
Have a question or need more information? Contact us at 214-705-2470.
Tom Branch and Gina Branch, The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, service the greater North Dallas suburbs including Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Lewisville, and Carrollton. While Gina concentrates on traditional listings and buyer/tenant representation, Tom specializes in assisting distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Tom and Gina have published two books (Achieving Rock Star Status and The Field Guide to Short Sales) and are available for speaking engagements in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. Subscribe to The Branch Team Blog.
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