If you’re a renter, you may have a dispute at some point with the property owner or the management company that represents the landlord. You’ll find that emerging disputes often deal with the building’s condition, rent increases, or essential services.
Fortunately, several statutes and different court rulings govern the relation between Texas landlords and their renters. However, the most significant source of information regarding your relationship with the property owner is the rental agreement, whether written or oral.
In the event that you can’t reach an agreement, consider these resources if you’re a Houstonian renter.
Texas Apartment Association
The Texas Apartment Association or TAA is the leading state association that represents rental owners and operators. Since its inception, it has collaborated with its members to foster fair legislation, high professional standards, and a competitive market that meets the rental needs of every Texan.
If you have an issue as a renter, the association strives to help you locate resources in your area that can help you.
Lone Star Legal Aid
Lone Star Legal Aid is a nonprofit legal firm, which seeks to advance and protect the legal rights of the Texans living in a property by offering free advocacy, community education, and legal representation that ensures equal justice access.
The firm provides legal counsel, legal education, and total representation in administrative representation in hearings and state, county, and federal courts.
Bear in mind that you have to meet the legal status and financial eligibility requirements and they may reject your application or restrict assistance to limited actions, advice, or referral if they lack adequate staff to represent you efficiently. Nevertheless, the firm’s goal is to help every eligible applicant as much as it can.
Houston Apartment Association
With over 611,000 apartments in over 2, 900 rental communities, the association represents more than 90% of Houston and the surrounding apartments. If you wish to become a member, you should agree to follow its code of ethics as a membership condition.
Bear in mind that its staff doesn’t have a face-to-face meeting with renters to discuss their issues and provide solutions. Rather, you should fill out the complaint form online if you wish to file a complaint against a certain apartment community.
The association typically spends time answering renters’ questions and attempting to resolve their issues. You’ll discover that HAA also helps tenants understand their responsibilities and rights. It will also help you resolve move-out financial disputes if you and the landlord or property owner can’t reach an agreement when it comes to the security deposit.
Another benefit of turning to this resource is that it offers various resources to aid tenants and property owners to find an amicable and fair resolution to renter-landlord disputes. Bear in mind that the association doesn’t process complaints filed two or more years after the move-out date.
Rental Protection Agency
The Rental Protection Agency or RPA is the national authority that sets the standards of ethics and practice for the rental industry. It helps enforce local and federal laws governing this industry and seeks to resolve landlord-tenant disputes. As a renter, you can also report bad property owners and access affordable legal assistance.
Previously, renters had few options in terms of resolving landlord-tenant disputes. However, things have since changed and renters can access various resources that are effective at handling disputes. If you have a dispute that requires resolution but don’t know where to start, check out this list.
For more information on where to take complaints in Houston, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a comment.