Buda, TX asked in Landlord - Tenant for Texas

Q: Are there limits on former tenant responsibilities to apartments upon move out? We are being charged $2000

We lived in an apartment in Leander for 4 years. The management company sent us an itemized letter for replacing everything from carpets to light bulbs that was $2k. Some of these items are routine apartment responsibilities. We are trying to figure out what is fair and are they miscalculating the bill.

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: In the absence of language in a lease agreement to the contrary, your landlord can only charge you for abnormal damage to the premises and not for ordinary wear and tear. With respect to carpet, the fabric tends to become threadbare and the color fades over time as part of normal wear and tear. On the other hand, holes, burns, large stains, and tears are evidence of abnormal damage which may require the carpet to be prematurely replaced.

In the absence of language in a lease agreement to the contrary, a tenant is ordinarily responsible to replace any light bulbs inside the rental premises unless they are hazardous to reach, and a landlord is responsible to replace any light bulbs in common areas of the complex.

There is no monetary cap on a tenant's potential responsibility imposed by law. But the landlord can only charge the tenant usual and customary charges for the labor and materials necessary to repair the abnormal damage.

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