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San Antonio needs a Tenant Bill of Rights. Here is where we start.

Tenants in Texas need a change. In our state, the most basic rights for millions of renter households are not a guarantee. This power imbalance has endangered the safety, finances, and shelter of far too many Texans. We have to start somewhere, and there’s no better place than San Antonio.

This is why we, along with many others including community members and the Texas Organizing Project, wanted to help create the San Antonio Tenant Bill of Rights.

This is what the San Antonio Tenant Bill of Rights Does: 

  1. Ensures that every unit rented in San Antonio meets minimum health and safety standards of basic utilities and facilities. 
  2. Ensures that all repairs done by landlords are made in a good faith.
  3. Makes it so that Military Veterans cannot be denied housing based on the Veteran’s lawful source of income to pay rent, which includes funding from a federal housing assistance program.
  4. Gives a tenant proper notice of a pending eviction, including an opportunity to cure for non payment of rent before an eviction filing is made.
  5. Gives the tenant a right to privacy and sets up guidelines for when management or landlords can enter into a tenants space. 
  6. Gives all tenants the right to organize, without ever having to worry about the threat of eviction or a decrease in services. 
  7. Creates a renter oversight commission that holds landlords accountable for their actions.

Esto es lo que hace la Carta de Derechos del Inquilino de San Antonio:

  1. Garantiza que todas las viviendas alquiladas en San Antonio cumplan las normas mínimas de seguridad y salubridad de los servicios e instalaciones básicas. 
  2. Asegura que todas las reparaciones hechas por los propietarios se hacen en buena fe.
  3. Hace que a los veteranos militares no se les pueda negar la vivienda basada en la fuente legal de ingresos del veterano para pagar el alquiler, que incluye la financiación de un programa federal de asistencia a la vivienda. 
  4. Da al inquilino una notificación adecuada de un desalojo pendiente, incluyendo la oportunidad de remediar la falta de pago del alquiler antes de que se presente una solicitud de desalojo.
  5. Da al inquilino el derecho a la privacidad y establece directrices sobre cuándo la administración o los propietarios pueden entrar en el espacio del inquilino.
  6. Da a todos los inquilinos el derecho a organizarse, sin tener que preocuparse nunca por la amenaza de desalojo o la disminución de los servicios. 
  7. Crea una comisión de supervisión de los inquilinos que hace que los propietarios sean responsables de sus acciones.

If you’d like to learn more about the San Antonio Tenant Bill of Rights or want to get involved, you can view our petition for a Tenant Bill of Rights here. For more information, you can email macuna@organizetexas.org.

We are ready to make real change for tenants in San Antonio.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can protect yourself as a renter in San Antonio right now, you can check out our San Antonio Renterzine.

3 comments on “San Antonio needs a Tenant Bill of Rights. Here is where we start.

  1. garydsgal

    Long overdue! I have been a renter for 9 yrs. at the same complex. Never missed a rent payment not even during COVID-19, never made any trouble with anyone or about anything, I believe I am a a excellent tenant and neighbor. Yet my landlord is inconsistent and deceitful. In the past I never got my lease on time. This year she intentionally withheld my lease and continued to stall by using the excuse that her attorney had the lease and Hap Contract going over it. Yet she was collecting the contract rent of the HAPC. Long story short, this evil woman took me to court and had the JP evict me because I didn’t have a lease and she didn’t want to renew the month-to-month lease. What Month-to-Month?? I never agreed to a monthly lease, nor told I had a lease change. I’ve been waiting 8 months for this woman to give me my lease, having to deal with her lies and manipulation, and Retaliation. Unnecessary abuse! The Judge sided with the liar immediately, didn’t even care to hear what I had to say. Because I couldn’t produce a hard copy of the lease the JP drove it home for her. Gave me 5 days to get out. Terrible! Just terrible system these landlords and JP’s have created. Texas is a state that recognizes verbal contracts. I was given a notice from SAHA showing my new rent portion to pay. It also shows the lease period those payments are to be made, equal to 12 months. 1 year! The landlord was hand delivered that from me even though she had got one from SAHA too. She then collected 8 months of payments at that rate and amount. She accepted 2 separate payments each month actually. But even that did not allow me a defense. It was denied. He wanted a written contract. Could not get him to understand that the landlord had to certify that she had a lease with me in order to receive money from the federal government. So now since there is Judgement stating, (from her testimony), that I HAD NO LEASE, then she didn’t have a right to collect the federal payments in that case! You only get to accept them if you certified you have a lease with the tenant and actually do. So something has to be done also with these landlords that are taking advantage of the tax payers, the integrity of the HUD programs, and the participants. In two days I will be homeless, can’t find adequate housing for my situation, and these people get to keep all the brand new high dollar purchases I made from a lump sum payment I got from an injury since I can’t carry it with me. It stinks that a landlord can manipulate and create a situation that didn’t exist until she produced it to control the outcome she wants without regard to the safety and well being of another human being that has afforded her over $70k in rental monies for 9 years straight.

  2. I would contact a lawyer and see if there is a possible suit here. But then again, lawyers, judges etc are cut from the same cloth. The law needs to change in this respect. That means getting signatures and climbing the ladder to have a bill passed giving renters a fighting chance.

  3. CAREY OSBORN

    I have been disabled since 2006. I have been on housing with a voucher since 2016. My two biggest issues are, when the landlord or property fails an inspection with the housing authority and the housing authority stops payment, we, tenant’s, are responsible for paying the full rental rate. How??!! I was paying $180. And SAHA was paying the rest. When they stopped paying I was supposed to pay $715., I only made $714. a month. So, I didn’t pay.
    Then, when moving, it is impossible for me to pay rent at the place I’m at and come up with application fees, deposits, and administration fees. Impossible! So, I won’t pay the last month so I am able to afford to move into the new place. Plus, you only get 60 days on your voucher, you can get an extension or two, but that’s it. If you’re voucher expires I lose my housing voucher.
    It’s a catch 22!

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