With over 20 trillion gallons of water having been dumped along the Texas coast by Hurricane Harvey, thousands of homes require major repair. If your rental property is one of those homes, you may be wondering “Does my tenant still owe me rent? Can the lease be terminated?” Texas Property Code Sec. 92.054 brings some clarity to answer these questions:
If the rental premises are totally unusable for residential purposes, either the landlord or the tenant may terminate the lease by giving written notice to the other any time before the repairs are completed. If the lease is terminated, the tenant is entitled to a pro rata refund of rent from the date the tenant moves out and to a refund of any security deposit otherwise required by law.
If the rental premises are partially unusable for residential purposes, the tenant is entitled to a rent reduction in an amount proportionate to the extent the premises are unusable (as caused by the casualty, Ex: Hurricane Harvey).
Related: What to do for uninsured, flooded rental properties
For information on fixing up flood damage in your property, check out this great guide from Fast Home Help.