Renter Questions in TX

Hello how is everyone. I am looking for a little advice. This is from the renters perspective and not the landlord. I have been renting the same house for over 4 years now. Our lease expired after the first year, and we were told by the landlord that as long as we pay rent then everything is fine. I have paid every month and am currently paid. My current concern is two different issues.

The first being that we have dead pine tress on the property and today during a storm one of the broke and fell landing about a foot away from my vehicle and laying in the driveway. The landlord as received three letters from the HOA about the trees and has even seen them himself. He is now telling me that it is my responsibility to have them cut down. Last year he had trees trimmed by a company in which he paid, and they spoke with him about the trees at that time as well. The trees were killed by pine beetles, not by anything that I caused or left alone. Am I responsible for this.

The second question is one of our ac unit. It has not cooled for over two years, He keeps patch working it and it never truly gets fixed. Is there anything that I can do to force the issue to have it fixed so that my house does not reach 80 plus degrees everyday.

The last question would be am I protected at all from having my locks changed, or being thrown out since I do not have a lease with him. I need to make sure that I and my family are not thrown out on the streets.

Thanks for any advice.

Read your original lease.

It should say that after the lease term you are on month to month lease.

I would not expect you to pay for the dead trees, especially since he has already paid for tree trimming in the past.

Why don’t you move? If he won’t maintain the property properly, find a new place.

I am working on finding a new place now, and have been for a few months. Just trying to find the right place. My only concern is with the trees right now and the safety of my family and my property. Thanks for the advice.

If your LL comes over and changes your locks, he’ll be in a world of crap. I’m not aware of anywhere in the country where it’s legal to change the locks on a place while it’s still occupied even if the tenant is not current on the rent.
You are not required to pay for cutting down the trees. That is not a tenant responsibility. You are probably responsible for keeping the yard cut. This does not fall into that category.
Read your state’s LL/tenant laws. There may be something in there about how the LL has to keep the property in the same general condition as when you rented it. If that is the case, you could argue that the AC worked when you rented the house and it should be fixed now. If the LL still refuses, there really isn’t much you could do w/o taking him to court…and if you threaten him with court, you can expect to find a notice of lease termination in your mailbox shortly thereafter.
AC is not even a requirement for section 8 tenants…only heat - so trying to force the repair of AC could be difficult if he doesn’t want to do it.
If one of those trees fall and damage your property or hurt your family, the LL is potentially in huge trouble because he knew about the problem from the tree company and didn’t do anything about it.