Can Isue my landlord over a gas leak?

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Can Isue my landlord over a gas leak?

I found out 2 days ago that there has been a gas leak in the house I have been renting for four months, found out from the gas company. My family and I have suffered health problems due to what we now know was carbon monoxide poisoning. When I addressed the issue with my landlord, he told us we should just look for another place to live. I spent all my money to move here from fort worth to be closer to my job, and because of illness and lost wages, I can not afford to move. I would like to file a lawsuit against him. Is this possible?

Asked on January 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The unrepaired gas leak is a health and safety hazard and is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) should include your medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills and documentation of wage loss.

You should contact the housing code inspector and immediately report the gas leak and that the landlord is not repairing it.  The landlord needs to have this gas leak repaired immediately. 


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