Asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Texas

Q: Hi, a land lord has neglected to secure their property for over a year. Allowing rampant criminal activity. Can I sue?

We have complained to police and they said the owner needs to vacate the squatters, public utilities have contacted owner too for pirating utilities and still nothing. It’s been going on 2 years. Drug trafficking daily and appears prostitution. I’ve seen children there too and contacted child traffici g too. Animal control contacted too. Their pit bulls running through the neighborhood very very unsafe public nuisance

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

A: If you have a private interest in land as a current owner, occupant, or holder of an easement, and these conditions have substantially interfered with your interest in the use and enjoyment of land, and these conditions have an injury to you (which could be harm to your person, harm to your property, or emotional harm), you likely have standing to sue for a private nuisance. You may also have standing to sue for a common nuisance under Chapter 125 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

The statute of limitations is two years, so that may be a problem for you. So precise dates are going to be important.

Chapter 125 provides the possibility of recouping your attorney fees from the landlord defendant, although you should expect that an attorney will require you to pay him/her during the course of the litigation. Talk to an attorney about your litigation budget. Depending on how much work the attorney may have to do in order to secure proper evidence in order to persuasively present your case, you could be looking at anywhere from $15,000-100,000 in attorney fees and litigation expenses depending on how aggressively the other party defends the case.

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