Landlords sometimes take advantage of tenants and abuse tenants' rights. In Austin, a large portion of the population lives in rented apartments. Most commonly, landlords fail to make reasonable repairs or remedy dangerous conditions. Sometimes, landlords don't reimburse tenants with the security deposit. If you believe your landlord is abusing your rights, you should contact an Austin Tenant Lawyer as soon as possible. At Ardalan Law Firm PLLC, we handle a variety of landlord/tenant issues. If you are looking for an Austin Tenant Lawyer, we can help with the following services:
Note that these services are not provided on a contingency fee basis. Ardalan Law Firm PLLC charges clients a flat fee for most tenant matters. Please contact the firm for more information. Generally, the firm only accepts cases located in Travis County.
An Austin tenant lawyer can help you evaluate what options you have when the landlord unlawfully withholds a security deposit. Typically, a landlord has to return the full amount of a security deposit minus reasonable expenses for repairs, within thirty (30) days of the tenant's last day. Whether in a house or in an apartment, the rules about withholding security deposits are the same for all residential units. A landlord who unlawfully withholds a security deposit can be held liable for up to three times the amount of the deposit. Additionally, the tenant can ask for the attorney's fees and costs incurred in attempting to recover the illegally withheld security deposit. The following are some of the key provisions of the Texas Property Code relating to the timely refund of security deposits.
(a) Except as provided by Section 92.107, the landlord shall refund a security deposit to the tenant on or before the 30th day after the date the tenant surrenders the premises.
(b) A requirement that a tenant give advance notice of surrender as a condition for refunding the security deposit is effective only if the requirement is underlined or is printed in conspicuous bold print in the lease.
(a) A landlord who in bad faith retains a security deposit in violation of this subchapter is liable for an amount equal to the sum of $100, three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld, and the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit.
(b) A landlord who in bad faith does not provide a written description and itemized list of damages and charges in violation of this subchapter:
(1) forfeits the right to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring suit against the tenant for damages to the premises; and
(2) is liable for the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit.
(c) In an action brought by a tenant under this subchapter, the landlord has the burden of proving that the retention of any portion of the security deposit was reasonable.
(d) A landlord who fails either to return a security deposit or to provide a written description and itemization of deductions on or before the 30th day after the date the tenant surrenders possession is presumed to have acted in bad faith.
It is important to consult with a qualified Austin tenant lawyer to evaluate your case. Every case is different and an Austin tenant lawyer can discuss your options.
Call us for a free consultation - (512) 931-4911.
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Principal office: Austin, Texas
Mail: 1211 W. 6th Street, Suite 600-122
Austin, Texas 78703
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