It's important for renters to know that they do have rights, per Texas law.
Many tenants don't know that if you're dealing with mold or other unsafe living conditions, you can take action.
Our Consumer Investigative Center has received 120 mold complaints since 2018, and we always tell people to file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General's Office.
But there's another organization that's right here in North Texas that's dedicated to helping renters.
The Texas Tenants' Union is a non-profit organization that's been around since 1979.
Executive Director Sandy Rollins said their goal is to empower tenants to know their rights and to hold landlords accountable.
"We see people facing eviction, dealing with substandard conditions, trying to get repairs made, refunds and people need information to know what to do when they're in a dispute with their landlord," said Rollins.
So, if you're dealing with unsafe or unacceptable living conditions, here are some tips you need to know:
-First, do not withhold your rent. This practice is legal in many states, but not in Texas.
-Instead, send your landlord a certified letter outlining the repairs you need.
-If after a week the repairs haven't been done, you may be entitled to terminate your lease. You can also do the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from your rent.
The Texas Tenants' Union holds free workshops every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. for renters who need assistance. Workshops cover leases, eviction, deposits, and repairs. Afterwards, one-to-one help is available.
Recently, a Duncanville woman said her family was exposed to dangerous mold in their rental home and that she lost her job after she says she had to take time off to care for her sick children. You can read more about that story from Jack Highberger by clicking here.