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Landlord Defenses

How can you defend yourself if you are sued for failing to install security devices?

A landlord has a defense to liability under Section 92.165 if  on the  date the tenant terminates the lease or files suit the tenant has not fully  paid costs requested by the landlord and authorized by the Property Code. A management company or managing agent who is not the owner of a dwelling and who has not purported to be the owner in the lease has a defense to liability under Sections 92.164 and 92.165 if, before the date the tenant is in possession of the dwelling, or the date of the tenant’s request for landlord action, and before any property damage or personal injury to the tenant, the management  company or managing agent met the following criteria:

  • Did not have funds of the dwelling owner in its possession or control with which to comply with legal requirements.
  • Made a written request to the dwelling owner asking that the owner fund and allow installation, repair, change, replacement, or rekeying  of security devices as required and mailed the request, certified  mail return  receipt requested, to the dwelling owner.
  • Not later than the third day after the date of receipt  of the tenant’s request, provided the tenant with a written notice (a) stating that the management company or managing agent was without the owner’s funds and had made the required written request; (b) stating that the owner had not  provided or would not provide the necessary funds; and (c) explaining the remedies available to the tenant for the landlord’s failure to comply.

 

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