Action 13 Renters' Rights: Houston attorney answers tenants' questions

Courtney Carpenter Image
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Action 13 Renters' Rights: Houston attorney answers tenants' questions
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Action 13 turned to the Texas Property Code to answer top questions from renters about insurance, lease violations, plumbing issues, amenities, and more.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Over the past few months, ABC13 has been working each week to inform renters of their rights and to get people solutions who have had enough with repairs not being fixed.

Eyewitness News gets messages from Houston-area renters on a daily basis who have concerns about their apartment complex or what their landlord can or cannot do.

Action 13 turned to the Texas Property Code and consulted a Houston attorney to answer these top questions we've received.

Q: Can your apartment complex demand proof of insurance?

via: Shae in northwest Houston

A: We found out, that yes, generally speaking. If you park in their parking lot, it's not out of the question, or against the law for them to ask you to provide your proof of car insurance.

Q: If an apartment complex says residents will have access to certain amenities, but then denies use of the amenities, is the complex in violation of the lease?

via: Dwight from the Cloverland neighborhood

A: Typically, yes, it is a violation of the lease on the landlord's side, assuming use of these amenities are in your lease. An exception here would be if there is work being done to that part of the property or if there is some sort of emergency situation.

Q: Does the landlord have to prorate rent if plumbing issues at a rental home led residents to stay in a hotel for two weeks?

via: Marcus in southwest Houston

A: The answer, in this case, is that it really depends on who caused the plumbing problem. If the issue was caused by the tenant, you will likely not be entitled to any reimbursement from the landlord. However, if the problem was caused by something structural or something the landlord is responsible for keeping up, then once you give a written notice of the problem to the landlord, you could ask to deduct the cost of the damages from your rent.

Do you have questions about your rent? Are you struggling to get help from landlord? Send us your questions and we will look into it.

You can also call ABC13's Renters' Rights line at 713-663-4548 and leave a message.

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