May 8, 2012
Dear George: My REALTOR® never gave me a copy of my contract. Does this mean that the contract is void?
Answer: Nothing happens automatically. What type of “contract” do you mean? A listing agreement? A buyer/tenant representation agreement?
Contact the broker of record for the firm that failed to provide you with your copy of the contract. If you don’t get a satisfactory reason or immediately receive your copy, let the broker of record know that you intend to file a complaint with the Texas Real Estate Commission.
Dear George: I just learned from a neighbor that my landlord’s father committed suicide in the house I’m renting three months before I moved in. No one told me this before I signed my lease. Can I break my lease without penalty?
Answer: No, you do not have grounds for breaking your lease without penalty. Neither the landlord nor any agent representing the landlord is required to disclose a death by suicide, death by accident unrelated to the condition of the property, or death from natural causes. This is true for sales as well as leases.
E-mail a question to ask George & Chuck or fax it to 713-978-6684. The answers to questions in this column do not contain legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.