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Landlord/Tenant Law

This legal research guide provides information about landlord and tenant law that is helpful to both the practitioner and the public looking for legal information.

Landlord Retaliation


Retaliation

Some tenants fear that their landlord will punish them if they complain about problems with their apartment. This kind of punishment is called "retaliation." Section 92.331 of the Texas Property Code describes unlawful landlord retaliation, noting:

A landlord may not retaliate against a tenant by taking an action described by Subsection (b) because the tenant:
  (1) in good faith exercises or attempts to exercise against a landlord a right or remedy granted to the tenant by lease, municipal ordinance, or federal or state statute;
  (2) gives a landlord a notice to repair or exercise a remedy under this chapter;
  (3) complains to a governmental entity responsible for enforcing building or housing codes, a public utility, or a civic or nonprofit agency, and the tenant:
    (A) claims a building or housing code violation or utility problem; and
    (B) believes in good faith that the complaint is valid and that the violation or problem occurred; or
  (4) establishes, attempts to establish, or participates in a tenant organization.

Under this law, a landlord may not retaliate by:

Section 92.333 goes on to describe what remedies a tenant may pursue, including, "a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $500, actual damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees in an action for recovery of property damages, moving costs, actual expenses, civil penalties, or declaratory or injunctive relief, less any delinquent rents or other sums for which the tenant is liable to the landlord."

Texas Law

Understanding the Law