What can I do if the landlord breaks the law?
If a landlord disobeys the law, you (the tenant) can take the landlord to court. In court, the judge can order that you get the following:
- a civil penalty in an amount equal to one month’s rent;
- any actual damages that you suffered as a result of the landlord breaking the law - for example, let’s say you stayed in a hotel because the landlord told you that you had to get out, you could sue for your hotel bill;
- court costs;
- an order that tells the landlord to do something or not do something, known as injunctive relief - for example, the judge can order that the landlord stop sending you letters to vacate the home every time you call 911; and
- reimbursement for attorney’s fees that you spent due to having to take the landlord to court due to his/her violation of this law.1
1 TXProperty Code § 92.015(c)