Who Pays for Repairs to Texas Rental Homes?

Air Conditioning Repair

As property managers for about a dozen homes in the North Dallas area, we are often asked what has to be repaired and who pays for the repair. It’s not just our tenants who ask, but our homeowners as well. The answer to the question is found in the Texas Property Code and the lease between the parties.

The Texas Property Code, paragraph 92.052 outlines the owner’s requirement to make repairs. Basically, the tenant notifies the owner of the need for a repair, the tenant must be current on all rental payments, and the condition materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant. Further, unless the condition was caused by normal wear and tear, the landlord does not have to repair damage caused by the tenant, their family or guests.

The Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease goes into greater detail in paragraph 18. The owner will pay the entire cost of repairing the heat, air conditioning, hot water heater, or water penetration into the home from structural defects unless the damage was caused by the tenant.

It also states that the owner will not pay to repair any items damaged by the tenant, water stoppages caused by foreign objects, or items that are cosmetic in nature.

In some of the older versions of the lease, there was a requirement for the tenant to pay a deductible for repairs to the property. The Texas Association of REALTORS® deleted that paragraph as it was inappropriately applied to all requested repairs. Some property managers are putting that verbiage into the Special Provisions of the lease but it should not be applied to all repairs.

It’s also important to note that not all owners use the Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease but the repair process, what will/will not be repaired, and who pays should be in the lease. When in doubt you should seek proper legal advice.

Have a question or need more information? Contact us at 214-705-2470.

About Tom Branch

Tom Branch has written 597 posts in this blog.

Have you ever just met someone, but felt you like you'd known him for years? That's what most people experience with Tom. He has a knack for making folks feel right at home. After 21 years in the Air Force, loyalty and honesty are the foundation of everything Tom does. In addition to being a Texas Real Estate Broker, Tom is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR).