Austin, TX asked in Landlord - Tenant for Texas

Q: I recently tested the air in my hvac system with a mold kit. When I brought this to the property manager she immediately

Suggested we be released from our lease. We don't want this and cannot afford to move again.i had to have emergency surgery and our life savings had to pay for it. Are they allowed to just kick us out? Why doesn't she want to have a professional confirm or deny the situation?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ryan Zapalac
Ryan Zapalac
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • League City, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Under the Texas Property Code, a landlord is generally responsible for maintaining the rental property in a habitable condition and making necessary repairs to keep it in a safe and functional state. This typically includes ensuring that essential systems, like HVAC systems, are in proper working order. Your particular lease may set out different obligations for the landlord here regarding HVAC systems specifically, though what I am citing here is the most common scenario/duty.

If you have identified mold in your HVAC system and informed the property manager, they should take appropriate action to address the issue. At the very least, a simple inspection (even if just by the property manager or other handyman to determine the cause or extent of mold) would seem reasonable, and depending on the severity of the problem, professional inspection or remediation may be needed.

Simply suggesting to be released from the lease without investigating the situation at all does not seem to be an appropriate response from the landlord/property manager. You do have the right to occupy the premises as long as your lease remains valid though, so you cannot legally be "kicked out" unilaterally due to this issue alone. You may best protect your rights as a tenant here by making a written repair request addressing the mold issue and, to be safe, sending that request by certified mail, return receipt requested.

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