Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Texas

I'm not sure what to do in this situation and I'm so furious you can probably see steam coming from my ears. I reside in an apartment complex with my family and my 8 year old miniature schnauzer. In the building next to mines is a lady that lives with 2 dogs, I have no idea what one of the breeds are but the problem breed is a full grown boxer. While walking my dog, my dog has been attacked 3 times with the last happening yesterday morning. I've complained to the complex twice and they were closed when the incidence happened and I had to leave the complex. When I returned they were already closed. I will be making the report today. I'm so frustrated I have no idea what to do; I don't think they are taking this seriously. One of the dogs is never on a leash and it attacked my dog once, the boxer is on a leash but is so powerful it breaks away from its owner and lunges at my dog and I'm caught in the middle spinning around trying to pull my dog away. I pulled at my dig so hard yesterday I was left with his collar and leash in my hands. I'm assuming maybe her dogs just donít like my dogs but gosh I'm afraid to walk to dog and I do not let my kids take him out anymore because I rather do it. I also head in the opposite direction of where everyone usually walks the dog. Thatís what I did yesterday and the boxer broke away from its leash and tried to bite my dog. I span around and at the same time tried to pull my dog away. I was so scared; thank heavens in all 3 incidents my dog was not bitten, but yesterday we both got a bit muddy. There are kids in her building that walk their dog as well and they would be petrified if that happened to them. Iím thankful the dog did not turn on me but I was so very afraid, my dog was shaking when we got upstairs. I'm so angry and feel like nothing is being done by the apartment complex managers. I hate confrontations and my husband is beyond pissed. Iím trying to be calm for his sake but heís livid. Iím to the point where I would like to move but we have 7 months left on our lease. We donít want to ruin our credit by breaking our lease because of this. Does anyone have any advice for me, please help?

Asked on 12/02/12, 11:40 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

EDWARD KAZALEH KAZALEH & ASSOCIATES, LLP
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You should be entitled to the quiet enjoyment of your rental.

Are you giving the management company written notices via certified mail?

Are there Apartment Rules that were attached to your Lease stating how dogs are to be handled? Which management company is it and are you current on your rents? If not, it changes your options. (Nothing peronal, but about 50% of the people who post me via LawGuru are several months behind).

If you have given written notice, and they have not acted, then I suspect they will just continue to ignore you.

You may need an Attorney to send them a Demand Letter detailing the Lease/Rules violation and citing the Texas Property Code section that may allow you to terminate the lease lawfully and leave it they fail to provide you with a "habitable" premises. That usually applies to AC's, running water, mold/leaks, but I would argue safety is part of habitability. Either way, you really need to keep evidence and notes of what happens. Do you have a camera within your cell phone or video camera? Or. carry a small one. You can "film" through the window if you see the dogs running around.

If I don't have to go down to Richmond and can do this by phone/email/fax, then I can send out a Cease & Desist Lawyer Demand letter giving them full notice and notice under the Property Code for a discounted fee of $150 plus postage. I wont make any money on this, but at least I can help you out! If you would like to go that route, email me and I can set up a phone call for this evening at a back number. USE THIS EMAIL: edkazaleh@yahoo.com

I hope things work out well and you get this resolved ASAP! Thanks

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Answered on 12/02/12, 2:40 pm

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