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Published byJeremy Minor Modified over 8 years ago
Landlord/Tenant Law Business & Personal Law Gary Nelson April 2001
Types of Tenancies Tenancy for Years Periodic Tenancy Tenancy at Will Tenancy at Sufferance
Tenancy for Years any fixed period of time –even less than one year 100 year tenancy transfers title completely
Periodic Tenancy automatically renews for a predetermined period if the tenant “holds over” after one period ends, the lease is renewed for another period
Tenancy at Will no period or time limit is specified –the lease is “open-ended”
Tenancy at Sufferance tenant wrongfully remains in possession after the tenancy has expired usually created when a tenant for years “holds over” after the lease term has ended
The Lease grants tenant (lessee) the exclusive possession and control of the real property of the landlord (lessor) Covenants - rights and duties of the landlord and tenant
General Covenants tenant has the right to possession of the premises without interference (“covenant of quite enjoyment”) landlord has right to rent and return of the premises in good condition
Repairs & Maintenance tenant must make repairs to the premises he has rented –liable for anything beyond “reasonable wear and tear” (called “waste”) landlord must provide habitable premises landlord must make repairs in “common areas” –entryway, halls, stairs, etc.
Assignment tenant transfers the remaining period of time of a lease to someone else Texas rule is that, unless the lease contract provides otherwise, the tenant may not assign the lease without the landlord’s permission. [This is opposite what the book says.]
Sublease tenant transfers part of the term of his or her lease, but not all the remainder of the lease, to someone else Once again, in Texas the tenant must have permission to sublet.
Tort Liability Tenant - responsible for injuries in the apartment Landlord - responsible for injuries in the commons areas
Fixtures Items of personal property that are attached to the realty in such a way that they may not be removed without damage to the premises become a part of the real property and the property of the landlord.
Texas Property Code the following are provisions of Texas law
Public Indecency gives landlord right to terminate the lease
Tenant’s Lien The tenant has a lien on any of the landlord’s property in his possession, including rents for damages incurred by the tenant as a result of the Landlord’s failure to comply with lease provisions.
Landlord’s Duty to Repair “Diligent effort” must be made to repair if –the tenant specifies the condition in notice to person to whom rent is paid, and –the tenant is not delinquent in rent, and –“the condition materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant.” No duty where the condition is caused by the tenant, his family, or invitees, unless it is caused by normal wear and tear.
Failure of Landlord to Repair After a reasonable time has been given, and tenant has given written notice of intent to pursue legal remedies to correct the failure to repair, the tenant may: –terminate the lease if the repair is not done within 7 days after the notice, or –have the condition repaired herself and deduct the cost (up to one month’s rent) from rent, or –obtain a court order to have the landlord do the repair.
Agreement that Tenant will repair The lease can only give the tenant the duty to repair habitability problems if the landlord owns only one rental dwelling.
Eviction Only by judicial process - no “self help” Landlord may change the locks if –tenant is delinquent in rent –landlord has given 5 days notice –landlord provides notice that locks have been changed and notice includes location where new keys can be picked up 24 hours a day
Refund of Security Deposit “on or before the 30th day after the date the tenant surrenders the premises” Tenant must give advance notice or surrender of premises only if the notice is underlined or in conspicuous bold print in the lease.
Landlord’s Retention of Security Deposit The landlord may retain all or part of a security deposit if –tenant is legally liable for “damages and charges” under the lease, and not including reasonable wear and tear –the landlord provides a “written description and itemized list of all deductions.”
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