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12 July 2012 @ 10:02 pm
Why I Won't Renew My Lease  
Dear Madam,

I am writing to deliver a formal complaint against the management of your apartment complex and to receive compensation under Sec. 92.0081. of CHAPTER 92. RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS of the Texas Property Code. The relevant sections are enclosed below for your reference.

“Sec. 92.0081. REMOVAL OF PROPERTY AND EXCLUSION OF RESIDENTIAL TENANT.
(b) A landlord may not intentionally prevent a tenant from entering the leased premises except by judicial process unless the exclusion results from:
(1) bona fide repairs, construction, or an emergency;
(2) removing the contents of premises abandoned by a tenant; or
(3) changing the door locks on the door to the tenant's individual unit of a tenant who is delinquent in paying at least part of the rent.
(c) If a landlord or a landlord's agent changes the door lock of a tenant who is delinquent in paying rent, the landlord or the landlord's agent must place a written notice on the tenant's front door stating:
(1) an on-site location where the tenant may go 24 hours a day to obtain the new key or a telephone number that is answered 24 hours a day that the tenant may call to have a key delivered within two hours after calling the number;
(2) the fact that the landlord must provide the new key to the tenant at any hour, regardless of whether or not the tenant pays any of the delinquent rent; and
(3) the amount of rent and other charges for which the tenant is delinquent.
(d) A landlord may not intentionally prevent a tenant from entering the leased premises under Subsection (b)(3) unless:
(1) the landlord's right to change the locks because of a tenant's failure to timely pay rent is placed in the lease;
(2) the tenant is delinquent in paying all or part of the rent; and
(3) the landlord has locally mailed not later than the fifth calendar day before the date on which the door locks are changed or hand-delivered to the tenant or posted on the inside of the main entry door of the tenant's dwelling not later than the third calendar day before the date on which the door locks are changed a written notice stating:
(A) the earliest date that the landlord proposes to change the door locks;
(B) the amount of rent the tenant must pay to prevent changing of the door locks;
(C) the name and street address of the individual to whom, or the location of the on-site management office at which, the delinquent rent may be discussed or paid during the landlord's normal business hours; and
(D) in underlined or bold print, the tenant's right to receive a key to the new lock at any hour, regardless of whether the tenant pays the delinquent rent.
(h) If a landlord violates this section, the tenant may:
(1) either recover possession of the premises or terminate the lease; and
(2) recover from the landlord a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $1,000, actual damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees in an action to recover property damages, actual expenses, or civil penalties, less any delinquent rent or other sums for which the tenant is liable to the landlord.”

Your apartment management has violated the Texas property code (and provided poor customer service) in the following ways:

1) On June 26, 2012 you locked me out of my apartment without ANY notice, written or otherwise. The only notice I ever received was dated July 25, 2012 but was delivered to me personally by a maintenance man on July 27, 2012, after I had already spoken to the office manager. This notice merely stated that I had a past due balance and did not mention being locked out in any matter. I am also providing a copy of that letter, to follow after this complaint.
2) At the time of lockout, there was no notice whatsoever letting me know how to contact management to gain re-entry to my apartment or to pay the delinquent amount.
3) No written notice was posted via mail or by note to my door by the 5th of the month stating either that they intended to lock me out or even that I had a past due balance.
4) Today, July 12, 2012, I received a notice that the management intended to lock me out again within 24 hours, but did not do so in a timely manner and did not inform me that even if I was locked out, that I could receive a key to gain re-entry at any hour in underlined or bold print. A copy of this notice (which also has terrible formatting and typographical errors) will also accompany this letter.
5) No written notice was posted via mail or by note to my door by the 5th of the month stating either that they intended to lock me out or even that I had a past due balance in this instance either.

Though your management has not followed the Texas property code for two months in a row in the ways mentioned above, I am a reasonable person and I would greatly like to reach a resolution with you without having to contact your corporate offices, the Texas attorney general or the Federal Trade Commission. I am providing payment to you today via money order as requested, and I kindly request credit worth two (2) months rent, which is still well below the amount I could legally claim.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience regarding this matter. I can be reached via email and telephone, and I am eager to work with you towards a resolution to this matter.


Respectfully,



Tim A. Church
 
 
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
 
 
 
venturing into the unknown...endless_journey on July 13th, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
You accidentally said July 25/26 rather than June in one paragraph.

Don't know if you already sent it, but I wanted to point that out! </p>

Excellent letter. :)

Tim: pic#80106040spinningisfun on July 13th, 2012 05:11 am (UTC)
I hadn't sent it yet; I am taking a physical copy to the manager tomorrow when I pay the balance. Thanks for the correction!