Rule 509 applies to a lawsuit filed in a justice court by a residential tenant under chapter 92, subchapter B of the Texas property code to enforce the landlord’s duty to repair or remedy a condition materially affecting the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant.
Rule 509 controls if conflict with other rules.
When filing a repair and remedy case with the court the petition must include:
- Contact info for both parties
- Street address of the premises.
- Statement that recovery sought is <$10k.
- Info on all notices given
- Description of the condition and relief sought
Upon filing the case the court must immediately issue a citation directing the landlord to appear for a trial date, which is no less than 10 days, no more than 21 days from the date the petition was filed.
Landlord may, but is not required, to file a written answer.
The citation must be served at least 6 days before trial date and returned at least one day before trial date. It must be served on the landlord if the address is known, otherwise on management company if address is known, otherwise on agent for service under chapter 92. Or alternate service may be requested on a mangement company or agent. If landlord does not appear and was served, the judge may hear evidence and render judgment. If tenant does not appear, the case may be dismissed. The court may award actual damages; civil penalty of $500, or one months rent, whichever is greater; costs and attorneys fees.
You have 21 days to appeal from the time of the judgment or modification of the judgment.