Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, wills & estate planning, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
With the number of rental properties in Dallas Fort Worth and its surrounding suburbs skyrocketing, the firm is inundated with issues surrounding the breach of contract, breach of implied warranty of habitability, breach of quiet enjoyment, etc. Therefore, I thought it would be prudent to talk about what constitutes a breach of habitability in Texas?
When has a Landlord Breached the Implied Warranty of Habitability?
In a prior blog post (https://www.kazilawfirm.com/calling-all-landlords) we discussed the Texas implied warranty of habitability in greater detail. If you’re not familiar with this implied warranty, I would recommend reading this informative piece, which is insightful for both landlords and tenants.
When a landlord fails to perform the fundamental services and maintenance needed to fulfill the implied warranty of habitability, major problems arise, where any reasonable tenant would be concerned for their health or safety. In other words, no reasonable tenant would freely choose to live in a place that doesn’t meet basic habitability requirements.
On the contrary, minor damage and repair needs do not constitute a breach of the Texas implied warranty of habitability. A minor repair can be frustrating, limiting, or even distasteful (and it can be expensive to remedy), but it doesn’t seriously endanger the health or safety of a reasonable tenant or make a rental property uninhabitable. For example, if the only thing between a tenant and a heated apartment is a $50 furnace part, the repair is “major,” because an unheated home is unlivable or uninhabitable. On the other hand, replacing an unattractive but otherwise safe carpet might cost thousands, but it is a “minor” repair because floor coverings that are merely aesthetically unappealing do not make your home unfit.
Often the line between major and minor isn’t clear. This is usually where landlord-tenant firms, such as the Kazi Law Firm, come into play in determining what infraction truly constitutes a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.
I wanted to go over a few common examples that we encounter on a regular basis – major vs. minor repair in a rental property. Can you make the distinction?
- A roof leak that results in a wall of mildew in the living room or bedroom
- A front door that will not lock
- A broken heater during the winter
- A toilet that won’t flush in a one-bathroom rental
- A broken hot water heater during the winter
- A/C unit not cooling during the summer in a home with a single A/C
- Roach and rodent infestation
- A roof leak has caused a slight stain in the ceiling plaster in the hallway
- A hot water heater that heats to five degrees less than the temperature required by state statute
- A furnace that creaks loudly when the fan runs
- A screen door (in front of a door that locks) with a broken latch
- A toilet that flushes poorly in a two or three bathroom rental property
- A broken heater in the summer
- A rental property with dirty or discolored walls
- Shabby or unattractive carpet throughout the rental property
- Outdated or mismatched appliances
- Single oven not warming in a home with double ovens
As you can see there is a fine line between major and minor repairs in Texas. Before you accuse your landlord of breach of the implied warranty of habitability, it would be wise to contact the Kazi Law Firm, servicing clients in Frisco, Plano, Prosper, Aubrey, Allen, McKinney, Celina, Dallas, and beyond.
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?