Author Topic: Texas Tenant Question  (Read 1680 times)

paleogirl

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Texas Tenant Question
« on: September 23, 2014, 08:48:08 AM »
I'm currently renting in the central Texas area, and I have a question for those who are more well-versed in Texas Landlord/tenant laws. (I'm trying to research myself, but all the legal stuff is baffling to me.)

I accidentally dented my garage door the other day ... I backed up my driveway a little too far ... I've never done that before, but I had a lot on my mind, and I wasn't being as careful as I should ...

I tried pounding out the door as best as I could, and it's almost back to normal with very minute visible marks, and it's not back to perfect shape. The garage door still opens and closes manually, but the electronic door opener registers that something is wrong with the door, so it won't close. I'm researching how to get the door fixed so that it's working perfectly again. My concern is that when I move out or if I notify the property management about the door so that they have their people fix it, they're going to make me pay for the entire door replacement rather than fixing the two panels that were dented. The house and the garage door are not exactly new (but not extremely old ... Zillow tells me the houses in the neighboorhood were built around 2000), and the door's paint was chipping and fading anyway. The lease states that I'll be charged "reasonable repair costs" ... I'm concerned that I'll be charged a ridiculous amount because the owner and the property management will take advantage of having the tenant pay for the door replacement by going with a high-end one, even if the door was old and needed replacing soon, anyway.

So my question is in Texas, is the tenant liable for the full replacement cost, or the depreciated cost?

Thanks.

skunkfunk

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Re: Texas Tenant Question
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 11:06:01 AM »
Not familiar with Texas law, but in your shoes I'd just fix it up as well as I could and hope they never notice. If they don't catch it, it didn't happen.

tat96

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Re: Texas Tenant Question
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 01:50:20 PM »
I am not a lawyer but I doubt the owner/property manager could get away with sticking you with the cost of a new "high-end" garage door.  Personally, I would look at the make and model, hit the internet and see how much it costs (in addition to installation costs) and work with that. Lastly, try to find as close a model as you can if the current one is out of date.

If you feel they are trying to take advantage of you in the future just do small claims court.  I doubt any judge would allow them to take advantage of you with a super deluxe new garage door.  The whole point of these is to fix the mistake or "make whole" the injured party.  I do not believe you have the legal obligation to fix the door and make it "better" than before, just "make it whole" again.

Good luck!

buckeyenuts

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Re: Texas Tenant Question
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 02:39:41 PM »
I'm also not from Texas, but I would recommend that you obtain a repair and/or replacement quote from a decent garage door service company in your area before you go to the property management company. Most garage door service companies should be able to offer you free quotes. Look on the original garage door and the opener for the make and model of these units and you may possibly find a sticker from the company that installed it. If you have a quote or two in hand, then at least you have a point of comparison if the property management company wants a really high amount to repair/replace it. Be sure that the replacement quote is for the same type door too (uninsulated steel for uninsulated steel, etc.). It is unlikely that the garage door opener was damaged too, but possible. It may just need to be reset to operate properly once the door is repaired. Unfortunately, this little accident may set you back a few bucks.   

Joggernot

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Re: Texas Tenant Question
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 02:48:50 PM »
If the door won't close, look at the child safety (light?) on the floor at the base of the door.  Make sure it is aligned on both sides.  Look at the "limit switches" on the opener and maybe adjust them as needed to get it to close.