Although many residential landlords perform repairs to their properties promptly and conscientiously, not every residential tenant is so fortunate. On the other side of the equation, expensive or excessive requests for repairs from tenants can quickly cause a rental property to become unprofitable, which can lead to increases in rent or a lack of incentive to build new residential units, lowering the supply of affordable housing for everyone in the community. The tenant’s responsibility for damages he or she has caused to an apartment or other rental is usually clearly delineated in the lease agreement, with damages paid out of a security deposit.
What is often less clear in lease agreements is what the landlord is responsible for repairing, what conditions must be satisfied before the landlord has the obligation to repair, and when repairs must be completed. Establishing whether a landlord has a duty to repair under certain circumstances is important not only for a tenant’s convenience or a landlord’s profitability–it can also determine liability for any injury caused by a faulty condition on the property. Whether you are unable to get your landlord to repair defects in your rental or you’ve been injured by such a defect, or you’re the landlord facing a claim from a current or former tenant, you should speak to an Austin real estate attorney as soon as possible to consider your options.