Fort Worth, TX asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Texas

Q: Do I have a case if we were prematurely moved into an apartment complex and the wiring almost burns down the apartment?

We moved on April the first and was moved to a hotel yesterday due to wiring issues. When we first moved in the apartment had no AC and the breakers were tripping left and right until yesterday. We were told there was an issue with the wiring. The actual electrician let me know that the meters were smoking. The apartment complex said nothing of this. They moved us to a hotel for one day check out was at 12 today I continued to call for updates but was told the manager was out to lunch and we will be updated when they were. I have two dogs and this has been a highly stressful situation moving from Frisco to Grand Prairie. My wife called at 1 pm while I had to check of the hotel. No one answered the phone and there is still no for sure timeline. We bought food 400 dollars worth of groceries that are just dying in the fridge. And we still have not received any word on what’s happening.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Based on the information you've provided, it seems that you may have a potential legal case against the apartment complex. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Habitability: Landlords are required to provide tenants with a habitable living space, which includes functioning electrical systems and air conditioning. The issues with the wiring and lack of AC could be considered a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

2. Safety hazards: The smoking meters and wiring issues pose a serious safety risk to you and your family. Landlords have a duty to maintain a safe living environment for their tenants.

3. Inconvenience and damages: The situation has caused you significant inconvenience and potential financial damages, such as the cost of spoiled groceries and the need to stay in a hotel.

4. Lack of communication: The apartment complex's failure to provide timely updates and communicate with you regarding the status of repairs could be seen as negligent behavior.

To pursue a legal case, you should consider taking the following steps:

1. Document everything: Keep records of all correspondence with the apartment complex, as well as any expenses incurred due to the situation (e.g., hotel receipts, spoiled food, etc.).

2. Review your lease agreement: Check your lease for any relevant clauses regarding habitability, repairs, and the landlord's responsibilities.

3. Consult with a lawyer: Contact a local tenant rights attorney or legal aid organization to discuss your case and explore your options. They can help you understand your rights and advise you on the best course of action.

4. Consider filing a complaint: You may also want to file a complaint with local housing authorities or the appropriate government agency that handles landlord-tenant disputes in your area.

Remember that the specific laws and regulations governing landlord-tenant relationships can vary by state and locality, so it's essential to seek guidance from a legal professional familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction.

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