Tips & Resources

Can I Fire my Contractor?

I often get calls from folks who are unhappy with contractors they’ve hired, wanting to know if they can terminate the relationship before the project’s completion.texas construction terminate fire contractor

Termination is typically allowed under any one of three circumstances.

First, does the contract specify the events under which termination may take place? If so, have those events occurred?

Second, did the contractor materially breach the contract and, if so, did that breach occur before any material breach by the owner (the party that contracted with the contractor)?

Third, will the contractor agree to terminate the contract early?

There are repercussions associated with terminating a contractor prematurely. A project owner is wise to take stock of the situation from an objective standpoint, evaluate the risks and benefits of each available option and their attendant consequences, and then move forward decidedly.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

TREC’s Basic Consumer Guide for Buyers/Sellers of Texas Real Estate

texas real estate commission guideThe Texas Real Estate Commission makes available a rudimentary guide for consumers interested in buying or selling real estate.

It includes information on dealing with qualified real estate professionals, a consumer checklist, material about choosing a broker or salesperson, dispute resolution information, and contains references to additional resources.

The guide can be found here.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas

texas legal aidLegal Aid of Northwest Texas is a wonderful, nonprofit organization that “provides free civil legal services to low-income residents in 114 Texas counties throughout North and West Texas.”

According to their website, they are the fifth largest legal aid program in the United States.

LANWT primarily represents clients with income up to 125% of the U.S. poverty line, although in certain cases they are able to help those with incomes of up to 200% of the poverty line, which, for a family of four, means a maximum income of $3,975 per month.

Click the link above to read more about the program and/or make a donation.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Some Changes to Texas Landlord-Tenant Law

texas senate bill landlord tenant lawEnrolled Senate Bill 1367 brings some changes to Texas landlord-tenant law.

First, it allows a landlord under some situations to attach a notice to vacate to the exterior of the rental premise’s main entry door.

Second, it changes the penalty a tenant may seek from a landlord who willfully violates residential landlord lien law.

Third, it disallows residential landlords and tenants from waiving the tenant’s right to a jury trial.

Finally, it changes and clarifies some aspects of the law related to security deposits.

See the enrolled bill here.

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Do I Need an Architect or an Engineer?

texas architecture engineering cast of charactersDo you need to hire an architect, an engineer, or both? These two professionals hold different licenses. (What is architecture? What is engineering?) Generally speaking, an architect is the primary design professional for projects whose end products are intended for human occupancy. Engineers are often the lead design professionals for projects whose end products are not intended to be occupied by people, such as highways, bridges, water and waste-water facilities, dams, canals, and the like. When in doubt, just ask!

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

Topics of Consideration by 84th Texas Legislature

84th texas legislature sessionThe 84th Texas Legislature’s regular session officially convenes at noon on January 13 and concludes on June 1, 2015. Legislators must file most bills by March 13. Some have already pre-filed bills. This proposed legislation provides insight as to some topics the legislature may consider next year:

  • State and Regional Water Issues
  • Topics of Classroom Instruction & Education Curriculum
  • Minimum Wage
  • Term Limits for Certain Elected Officials
  • Voting Issues (pre-registration and registration, training of voting registrars, acceptable forms of identification, etc.)
  • Creating New Criminal Offenses (texting while driving, cargo theft, voyeurism, revenge porn, human smuggling, etc.)
  • Establishing Permanent Daylight Savings Time
  • Direction/Redirection of Revenue
  • Apportionment of Congressional Districts
  • Creating/Commemorating/Recognizing Specially Designated Days (National Teacher Day, Constitution Day, Patriot Day, Armed Forces Day, National Day of Prayer, Lung Cancer Awareness Day, etc.)

To find a list of pre-filed bills, click here, select “84(R) – 2015,” and then click “Filed House Bills” or “Filed Senate Bills.”

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.

What happens if you terminate your lease without legal justification?

A tenant who terminates a lease without legal excuse may have to pay the remaining rental payments due under the lease. Such a tenant may also be responsible for other items set out in the lease agreement, like property damage, cleaning, utilities, insurance, etc. However, the financial responsibility imposed on a tenant who terminates early may be reduced or offset by obligations that are imposed on the landlord by law or by the lease agreement itself. It’s wise for both the landlord and tenant to visit about early lease termination before it takes place in order to minimize the likelihood of any disagreements.texas lease termination landlord tenant

Our Tips & Resources posts are intended to provide general educational information. Like all other material on this blog, it is not a substitute for legal advice.