Apartment Life – The Landlord

I, along with most people, have experienced both a reputable landlord and a dreadful landlord. We should be clear that landlords include individuals, management groups, and leasing agencies. As a tenant, it is important to remember that you are living in a place you do not own. It is not your property. You are not able to do whatever you want simply because you pay monthly rent and have your stuff in the residence. You, as a renter, are obligated (This is NOT an exhaustive list) to keep the home in reasonable repair, notify the landlord of potential problems, damages, or hazards on the property, and avoid illegal activities or ventures based in the rental property. This is a good time to make an important note:

The Lease is your most important document. The lease spells out the rights, duties, and obligations of all parties.

However, the landlord’s authority is not all encompassing and has certain limitations. The landlord has specific duties to protect your rights that we will discuss in the next entry.

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

Apartment Life – A Short Series

The most common questions Chris and I receive stem from the area of Landlord/Tenant law. We are constantly asked by people, “Can my landlord do this to me?” or “Can I do this at my apartment?” or “Does my lease really say this?”  Based on these continual and common questions, we have decided to do a short series on the laws that govern the Landlord/Tenant relationship. The main areas we are going to discuss are:

  • Landlord Rights
  • Tenant Rights
  • Federal Law governing Landlord/Tenant
  • Roommates
  • Random Questions

We would also be happy to give general information about any questions or issues you may have related to this topic. Please submit them below, and we will discuss them in an upcoming entry.

Talking with Police

In Texas, a person has three basic types of encounters with law enforcement.

  1. Consensual Encounters – No 4th amendment protections and the conversation can be stopped by either party; “Nice talking to you, but I’ve got a movie to see.”
  2. Investigatory Detentions – you reasonably feel like you are not free to leave and yield to the Officer’s authority, 4th amendment protections are initiated, no requirement for Officer to have warrants or probable cause
  3. Arrest – 4th amendment protections in full effect, Officer must have a warrant or Probable cause, “Book’em Dan-O.”

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

What to wear on a First (Court) Date

In life, one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make is what to wear on a first date. We want to make a perfect impression. You want your date to see how great you look without seeming as if you tried to impress them. But what if the first date’s location is a courtroom and your date, a judge.

I used to tell my clients, “Church attire or Sunday’s best.” That is no longer is my mantra. I have learned this definition is not adequate to convey the correct message. I have seen people show up in outfits suitable only for late night street walking or tailgating at the Talladega 500. It is never a good idea to dress as though you are auditioning for a role as a prostitute when you are being charged with prostitution.

If you have an upcoming date at the courthouse, I would suggest the following style and etiquette guide:

  • Wear long pants- plain colors with limited or no patterns, No shorts that were once pants, i.e. Jorts
  • Wear a shirt, preferably with buttons and sleeves- No gang, gun, or marijuana leaf designs
  • Wear shoes- closed toed, no sandals or flip flops- Courtrooms do not have a beach theme day
  • No hats, sunglasses, excessive jewelry
  • No food or drinks- It is a Courtroom not a Cafeteria
  • Leave your cell phone off- There is nothing worse than having a phone ring during a court session; The Judge does not want to hear your latest Kanye ringtone.

Court is a place where you absolutely need to make a good impression. By following this advice, you can assure you will make the right  impression in Texas courts.

Texas DWI- Request an ALR Hearing

In Texas, a person, who is arrested for DWI, has only 15 days to request an ALR (Administrative License Revocation) hearing. A person can request an ALR hearing via telephone, mail, or fax.

For more information on Texas ALR hearings: Texas DPS Website

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.