My question is whether the following situation would likely meet the criteria to be able to deduct rent for repairs:
- The property had weekly pool maintenance for years, until it suddenly stops without any communication or notice. The pool maintenance company says their contract was stopped by the landlord without explanation.
- The lease says it is the landlord's responsibility to maintain a pool service.
In Texas, a tenant has the right to pay for repairs and deduct them from the rent if:
- The problem affects the health/safety of the tenants
- The landlord has not repaired the problem in a timely manner (I think the example given in the rules is 7 days is an appropriate timeframe).
In the city in which I am located, there is further city ordinance:
- Sec. 8-430. - Ponds or pools of unwholesome water.
- It shall be unlawful to keep or maintain on any property within the city a pond, pool, depression or container which contains unwholesome, impure or offensive water, or which is conducive to the breeding of mosquitoes.
The reason for this city ordanance is because it is a health and safety concern to breed mosquites in the area due to the presence of West Nile virus. Although the ordinance doesn't specifically say this.
So, after having no useful response from the landlord for say, 1 month, and now having a rather unwholesome pool. Would it be appropriate to pay for repairs (professional pool service to clean up the water and maintain the equipment) and deduct it from rent? I'm simply dubious about whether a green, algae filled swimming pool could meet the threshold of a tenant health and safety concern, but when this is specifically unlawful in the city under "Health and Sanitation" rules, it seems to be a stronger argument.
Are local health and safety laws are taken into account when determining what is a health and safety violation under the Texas Property Code?