Negligent security relating to residential rental property in Texas | Rekey Xpress Locksmith

Negligent security relating to residential rental property in Texas

December 27, 2016

As a locksmith who performs many hundreds of lock changes in the field for landlords, I have some serious concerns relating to the unnecessary risks I see many property owners taking by not understanding or implementing requirements under the Texas Property Code.  I am speaking at present specifically about Sec. 92.156 for residential rental property in Texas.

Landlords need to know that they can be legally responsible for injuries that occur on their property. For example, let’s say that someone steps in a post hole in the back yard of a residential rental property and injures their leg.  Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible for the injured party to sue the property owner in a premises liability lawsuit.

However, what happens if someone is attacked or assaulted on a property? What legal options might the tenant exercise after being attacked on property?

Negligent Security Relating to Residential Rental Property in Texas

Landlords are responsible for providing a safe environment for tenants and patrons. This includes providing adequate security.  A landlord could be found negligent if the landlord fails to provide adequate security measures to prevent foreseeable intrusions and attacks on a property.

The Texas Property Code under Section 92 outlines specific security devices that a landlord is required to provide on his or her property.

Some of the basic security devices that must be provided without the request of a tenant include

  • a window latch on each exterior window of the dwelling
  • a doorknob lock or keyed deadbolt on each exterior swinging door (the passage door into the attached garage is considered an exterior door)
  • a door viewer or window in each exterior swinging door
  • a keyless bolting device installed on each exterior swinging door
  • a pin lock installed in each sliding glass patio style door
  • all exterior door locks must be rekeyed within 7 days of the tenant taking possession of the rental unit

A missing, defective or un-rekeyed lock on a door or a window could lead to legal action on behalf of injured parties.

Duty To Repair / Replace Security Devices

Chapter 92.158 of the Texas statute on landlord and tenant responsibilities states that:

“During the lease term and any renewal period, a landlord shall repair or replace a security device on request or notification by the tenant that the security device is inoperable or in need of repair or replacement.” A landlord’s failure to install or rekey certain security devices could lead the tenant to file suit against the landlord to obtain a judgment for the tenant’s damages associated with the negligence in question.  Court costs can also be reimbursed with the same judgment.  I have personal knowledge of cases where an injured tenant successfully sued for damages after being attacked on their property as a result of negligent security.

In Benser v. Johnson (Tex. App. 1988), a Texas landlord was held liable for negligent security after the court found the tenant was provided with locks that were later determined to be defective. An intruder gained unauthorized access to the premises through a window that was not secured and assaulted the tenant. The landlord’s negligence was determined to have been a cause of the tenant’s injuries and as a result, the tenant was able to recover compensation for damages.

If you are a property owner who rents for residential use in Texas, you can reduce your risk of legal action by following the requirements of the Texas Property Code.  Call on a licensed locksmith to assist you with a security consultation.  It may save you thousands.

It is important to hire a reputable and licensed locksmith company when you are faced with a lock and key emergency. If you need to know about topics such as: do landlords have to rekey between tenants, does a landlord have a right to have a key to the rental property, can a tenant change the locks without the landlords permission, rekey locks, Texas landlord tenant laws concerning keys, rekeying vs changing locks, landlord changed locks before end of lease or does a landlord have to change locks between tenants in Texas, ReKey Xpress locksmith is professional and upfront about our capabilities, timing, and costs. If you are looking for a free locksmith, we can’t help you. However, you can call us at any time for a free,  upfront price quote.  All of our locksmith services, including emergency locksmith services, USPS mailbox lock rekey, automotive locksmith work and commercial locksmith services are performed by a licensed locksmith. In addition, the work is guaranteed. When it comes to our customer’s safety and satisfaction, ReKey Xpress locksmith in Montgomery County Tx is highly rated and recommended.  ReKey Xpress locksmith, your job on time, fair priced and guaranteed!  Find us under: car keys, truck keys, emergency locksmith montgomery tx, locksmith near me, cheap locksmith in conroe tx, locksmith 77318, Willis locksmith service, auto locksmith the woodlands, locksmith 77302, tomball locksmith reviews, locked keys in car magnolia, locksmith 77354, pro locksmith spring, Tx, car locksmith montgomery tx, locksmith 77373, cheap car locksmith 77355, locksmith services magnolia tx, locksmith 77304, commercial locksmith conroe tx, best locksmith the woodlands, lock willis, mobile locksmith montgomery tx, locksmith in magnolia texas, locksmith 77385, rekey conroe, cheap locksmith tomball, locksmith 77377, mobile locksmith magnolia.

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