The tenant must delay contracting for repairs under Section 92.0561 (Tenant’s Repair and Deduct Remedies) if, before the tenant contracts for the repairs, the landlord delivers to the tenant an affidavit, signed and sworn to under oath by the landlord or his authorized agent and complying with this section.
The affidavit must summarize the reasons for the delay and the diligent efforts made by the landlord up to the date of the affidavit to get the repairs done. The affidavit must state facts showing that the landlord has made and is making diligent efforts to repair the condition, and it must contain dates, names, addresses, and telephone numbers of contractors, suppliers, and repairmen contacted by the owner.
Affidavits under this section may delay repair by the tenant for:
15 days if the landlord’s failure to repair is caused by a delay in obtaining necessary parts for which the landlord is not at fault; or
30 days if the landlord’s failure to repair is caused by a general shortage of labor or materials for repair following a natural disaster such as a hurricane, tornado, flood, extended freeze, or widespread windstorm.
Affidavits for delay based on grounds other than those listed in Subsection (c) of this section are unlawful, and if used, they are of no effect. The landlord may file subsequent affidavits, provided that the total delay of the repair or remedy extends no longer than six months from the date the landlord delivers the first affidavit to the tenant.
The affidavit must be delivered to the tenant by any of the following methods:
personal delivery to the tenant;
certified mail, return receipt requested, to the tenant; or
leaving the notice inside the dwelling in a conspicuous place if notice in that manner is authorized in a written lease.
Affidavits for delay by a landlord under this section must be submitted in good faith. Following delivery of the affidavit, the landlord must continue diligent efforts to repair or remedy the condition. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the landlord acted in good faith and with continued diligence for the first affidavit for delay the landlord delivers to the tenant. The landlord shall have the burden of pleading and proving good faith and continued diligence for subsequent affidavits for delay. A landlord who violates this section shall be liable to the tenant for all judicial remedies under Section 92.0563 (Tenant’s Judicial Remedies) except that the civil penalty under Subdivision (3) of Subsection (a) of Section 92.0563 (Tenant’s Judicial Remedies) shall be one month’s rent plus $1,000.
If the landlord is liable to the tenant under Section 92.056 (Landlord Liability and Tenant Remedies; Notice and Time for Repair) and if a new landlord, in good faith and without knowledge of the tenant’s notice of intent to repair, has acquired title to the tenant’s dwelling by foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or general warranty deed in a bona fide purchase, then the following shall apply:
The tenant’s right to terminate the lease under this subchapter shall not be affected, and the tenant shall have no duty to give additional notice to the new landlord.
The tenant’s right to repair and deduct for conditions involving sewage backup or overflow, flooding inside the dwelling, or a cutoff of potable water under Subsection (e) of Section 92.0561 (Tenant’s Repair and Deduct Remedies) shall not be affected, and the tenant shall have no duty to give additional notice to the new landlord.
For conditions other than those specified in Subdivision (2) of this subsection, if the new landlord acquires title as described in this subsection and has notified the tenant of the name and address of the new landlord or the new landlord’s authorized agent and if the tenant has not already contracted for the repair or remedy at the time the tenant is so notified, the tenant must deliver to the new landlord a written notice of intent to repair or remedy the condition, and the new landlord shall have a reasonable time to complete the repair before the tenant may repair or remedy the condition. No further notice from the tenant is necessary in order for the tenant to repair or remedy the condition after a reasonable time has elapsed.
If the new landlord violates this subsection, the new landlord is liable to the tenant for a civil penalty of one month’s rent plus $2,000, actual damages, and attorney’s fees.
No provision of this section shall affect any right of a foreclosing superior lienholder to terminate, according to law, any interest in the premises held by the holders of subordinate liens, encumbrances, leases, or other interests and shall not affect any right of the tenant to terminate the lease according to law.Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 650, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.