Ask 2: Can landlords blame renters for pipe bursts and damages caused by the winter storm, ask them to move out?

Generic image of a frozen pipe. (Pixabay)

At KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

Question: Can landlords blame renters for pipe bursts and damages caused by the winter storm and ask them to move out?

Answer: No, tenants who rent a home or apartment are not responsible for property damages caused by a natural disaster such as the recent winter storm.

Landlords are legally responsible to fix property damages caused by a natural disaster.

“Texas law requires the landlord to fix issues that result as a consequence of a natural disaster, especially those that threaten the health and well being of the tenants living in that home,” David Sadegh with Lone Star Legal Aid said.

[RELATED: Renter’s rights: What you need to know if you have storm damage]

According to the Texas Apartment Association, if the damage is substantial or repairs pose a danger to residents, then a landlord is allowed to terminate the lease by providing tenants at least five days’ written notice

Do you have a burning H-Town-related question? Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.

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