L/O - Repairs - Eviction

In my lease contract I’m using the repair section from Bronchick lease contract that says that: “In exchange for tenant receiving a discounted rent, Tenant shall be responsible for all repairs, maintenance, costs, service charges, painting, improvements and additions to the property…”

Do you know if a tenant can get away with not have to pay rent because of all the repairs he has done to the house?

My tenant told us that he has talked to someone and that the repair section says he gets a discounted rent for the repairs and that is what he is going to tell the judge if we take him back to court.

We took him to court last week because he owed us $3000.00 and stopped paying me the rent and told the judge that he didn’t want the option and the judge ruled for him. The judge said that all the money he had payed for rent and option consideration was enough that he was payed up until Oct. 1, but for us to work it out as far as what he owed for the following months. My problem, I think, is that I let him make payments for the down and I only wrote that in the option agreement and not the lease.

After reviewing all his checks afterwards, we found that he accually owes us $230 September 1 after everything he has paid. So we called him and told him that he owed us $230 September 1 and he said no he didn’t because we sign a piece a paper after the court hearing that he was paid up until October. Then he starts telling me that hes done a lot of repairs and that he should get credit towards the rent for that and that is what he is going to tell the judge he we take him back.

Thanks for your help!

But, it sounds like the judge…

Got your option money confused with rent… Or called it rent…

Do You have them both as one agreement… should be 2 seperate agreements…

And now the guy is taking you for ride…

Your Option agreement should clearly spell it out that it’s not Rent, Non-Refundable and can only be applied toward an Option to Buy the House.

David Alexander

I suggest you get some help with your contracts. Using forms straight out of a course without any individual research or professional help can be costly as you’ve learned.

In TX you can’t legally pass on all repairs to a tenant in exchange for ANYTHING. That clause needs to be reworked in your lease. Here’s a link to the property code…

And my advice is not to mix any of the option documentation or rules with the lease. Keep those completely separate. When you evict, you evict purely on non-performance of the lease. It’s simple and straight-forward. If the tenant buyer wants to argue the option side, then they can post a bond equal to the eviction judgment to take that to another court.

I’ve never had an issue with an eviction and unfortunately, due to being lax in my screening process, I have plenty of experience with evictions.

Based on your post you definitely don’t want to go back to the judge. Neither your knowledge level nor your documents allow you to safely do that. Get this guy out as soon as possible, even if you have to bribe him to do so, and lease the place out or sell it.

Then find an investor who’s been doing what you want to do for many years and preferably a knowledgeable attorney as well. Get your docs in order before attempting to do another lease option. You can get by with weak docs selling on lease options without any issues quite frequently. Realtors and newbie investors do it all the time, but it’s not good business.

Sorry for the soapbox, but there are my suggestions. It’s not a game, the money’s real, and you’re more likely to end up in front of a judge than many other avenues you might take. Get informed, get prepared, and get protected.

my view…

We do have the agreements seperate. The judge basically did call it rent.

We are meeting with an Atty next week. Can anyone share with me what they use for the repair section in their lease contract.

Thanks for the help and advice.

I don’t understand. These are two completely separate items and they are NOT discussed in the same courtroom, or at least, they’re not supposed to be.

Without all the details, it’s difficult to know what happened. It sounds like somehow you combined the two transactions just enough so that the judge considered both.

I’ve had it happen numerous times where the deadbeat, thieving tenant (sorry, but if they stole this much money from Walmart, they’d be in jail for years - just ain’t right) brings up the option money along with the rest of the sob story and the judge just completely ignores it.

“Excuse me, Mr. and Mrs. Victim Mentality, did you pay the rent?”

“No, but…”

“Decision and judgment awarded to plaintiff. Mr. and Mrs. Evictee, if you’d like to pursue your option consideration claim, please post bond for the judgement amount and schedule a hearing.”


I get asked for my docs and clauses all the time. I consistently refuse because so many of my provisions were created by me and have not been tested. Many of them have passed attorney review, but that doesn’t give me much comfort actually.

One provision I have in my lease implies the tenant buyer is responsible for all repairs, except those materially affecting safety and health, in exchange for a discounted security deposit. If someone wanted to argue, “safety and health” could be much broader than I verbally describe to the tenant.

If your attorney is well versed in the property code and real estate investing, this would be a great question for them. Take care.

that the judge considered both option and lease. What happen was that the tenant told the judge that he had paid X amount and show the checks to back it up. We told the judge that not all of it was for rent and tried to show the judge the reciept stating that x amount was non-refundable option consideration. The Tenant then told the judge that he doesn’t want the option and that he wants to rent. The judge then said that he doesn’t want the option and he wants to just rent, so all the money he paid goto rent.


We had no plans of bringing up the option, but we thought we had to because he was showing the judge all the checks he wrote. Any advice anyone has on handling that for next time will be great.

Bottomline is - I need to get some work done on my contracts and find more information on how to handle this stuff in court.

Hope everyone has an awesome Labor Day! (Its raining in H-town)