A landlord may close a rental unit at any time by giving written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the tenant and to the local health officer and local building inspector, if any, stating that:
the landlord is terminating the tenancy as soon as legally possible; and
after the tenant moves out the landlord will either immediately demolish the rental unit or no longer use the unit for residential purposes.
After a tenant receives the notice and moves out:
the local health officer or building inspector may not allow occupancy of or utility service by separate meter to the rental unit until the officer certifies that he knows of no condition that materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant; and
the landlord may not allow reoccupancy or reconnection of utilities by separate meter within six months after the date the tenant moves out.
If the landlord gives the tenant the notice closing the rental unit:
before the tenant gives a repair notice to the landlord, the remedies of this subchapter do not apply;
after the tenant gives a repair notice to the landlord but before the landlord has had a reasonable time to make repairs, the tenant is entitled only to the remedies under Subsection (d) of this section and Subdivisions (3), (4), and (5) of Subsection (a) of Section 92.0563 (Tenant’s Judicial Remedies); or
after the tenant gives a repair notice to the landlord and after the landlord has had a reasonable time to make repairs, the tenant is entitled only to the remedies under Subsection (d) of this section and Subdivisions (3), (4), and (5) of Subsection (a) of Section 92.0563 (Tenant’s Judicial Remedies).
If the landlord closes the rental unit after the tenant gives the landlord a notice to repair and the tenant moves out on or before the end of the rental term, the landlord must pay the tenant’s actual and reasonable moving expenses, refund a pro rata portion of the tenant’s rent from the date the tenant moves out, and, if otherwise required by law, return the tenant’s security deposit.
A landlord who violates Subsection (b) or (d) is liable to the tenant for an amount equal to the total of one month’s rent plus $100 and attorney’s fees.
The closing of a rental unit does not prohibit the occupancy of other apartments, nor does this subchapter prohibit occupancy of or utility service by master or individual meter to other rental units in an apartment complex that have not been closed under this section. If another provision of this subchapter conflicts with this section, this section controls.Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3634, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 650, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.