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Rule 737.8 Judgment; Amount; Form and Content; Issuance and Service; Failure to Comply (2010)


(a) Amount. Judgment may be rendered against the landlord for failure to repair or remedy a condition at the residential rental property if the total judgment does not exceed $10,000, excluding interest and court costs but including attorney's fees. Any parry who prevails in a suit brought under these rules may recover the party's court costs and reasonable attorney's fees as allowed by law.

(b) Form and Content.

(1) The judgment must be in writing, signed, and dated and must include the names of the parries to the proceeding and the street address of the residential rental property where the condition is to be repaired or remedied.
(2) In the judgment, the justice may:
(A) order the landlord to take reasonable action to repair or remedy the condition;
(B) order a reduction in the tenant's rent, from the date of the first repair notice, in proportion to the reduced rental value resulting from the condition until the condition is repaired or remedied;
(C) award a civil penalty of one month's rent plus $500; (D) award the tenant's actual damages; and
(E) award court costs and attorney's fees, excluding any attorney's fees for a cause of action for damages relating to a personal injury.
(3) If the justice orders the landlord to repair or remedy a condition, the judgment must include in reasonable detail the actions the landlord must take to repair or remedy the condition and the date when the repair or remedy must be completed.
(4) If the justice orders a reduction in the tenant's rent, the judgment must state:
(A) the amount of the rent the tenant must pay, if any;
(B) the frequency with which the tenant must pay the rent;
(C) the condition justifying the reduction of rent;
(D) the effective date of the order reducing rent;
(E) that the order reducing rent will terminate on the date the condition is repaired or remedied; and
(F) that on the day the condition is repaired or remedied, the landlord must give the tenant written notice, served in accordance with Rule 21a, that the condition justifying the reduction of rent has been repaired or remedied and the rent will revert to the rent amount specified in the lease.
(c) Issuance and Service. The justice must issue the judgment. The judgment may be served on the landlord in open court or by any means provided in Rule 21a at an address listed in the citation, the address listed on any answer, or such other address the landlord furnishes to the court in writing. Unless the justice serves the landlord in open court or by other means provided in Rule 21a, the sheriff, constable, or other person authorized by Rule 536 who serves the landlord must promptly file a certificate of service in the justice

(d) Failure to Comply. If the landlord fails to comply with an order to repair or remedy a condition or reduce the tenant's rent, the failure is grounds for citing the landlord for con-tempt of court under Section 21.002 of the Government Code.

Added by order of Dec. 14, 2009, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
  Repealed by order of April 15, 2013, eff. Aug. 31, 2013.