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SEC. 27-5.2.   RETALIATION AGAINST TENANTS PROHIBITED.
   (a)   A landlord commits an offense if he raises a tenant’s rent, diminishes services to a tenant, or attempts eviction of a tenant within six months after:
      (1)   the tenant files a valid complaint with the director complaining of a violation of this chapter on property occupied by the tenant; a complaint is considered valid if it results in an action described in Paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of this subsection;
      (2)   the director issues to the landlord or the landlord’s agent a written notice or citation listing any violation of this chapter that exists on property occupied by the tenant;
      (3)   the city attorney files an action under Article IV-a of this chapter or under Chapter 54, 211, or 214 of the Texas Local Government Code relating to any violation of this chapter that exists on property occupied by the tenant;
      (4)   the tenant, after filing a complaint with the director and the landlord or the landlord’s agent, files a written complaint with the city attorney complaining of a violation of this chapter on property occupied by the tenant, unless the complaint is later withdrawn by the tenant or dismissed on the merits; or
      (5)   repairs are completed on property occupied by the tenant in compliance with either a written notice or citation issued by the director or a court order.
   (b)   It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) that:
      (1)   rent was increased pursuant to an escalation clause in a written lease which provided for changes in costs of utilities, taxes, and insurance;
      (2)   rent was increased, services were reduced, or notices to vacate were issued as part of a pattern of rent increases, service reductions, or evictions for an entire multidwelling project;
      (3)   the tenant was delinquent in rent when the landlord gave notice to vacate or filed an eviction action;
      (4)   the tenant was responsible for or caused a violation of this chapter that existed on property occupied by the tenant;
      (5)   the tenant’s written lease fixing the rent, services, or term of occupancy had expired, unless, at the time an action described in Subsection (a)(1), (2), or (3) occurred, a violation of this chapter that was reasonably dangerous to the physical health or safety of the tenant or another person existed on property occupied by the tenant;
      (6)   the tenant holds over after giving notice of termination or intent to vacate;
      (7)   the tenant holds over after the landlord gives notice of termination at the end of the rental term and, at the time the notice of termination was given, the landlord or the landlord’s agent had not received actual notice that a valid complaint had been filed with the city complaining of violations of this chapter on property occupied by the tenant;
      (8)   before filing a complaint with the city complaining of a violation of this chapter on property occupied by the tenant, other than a violation that is reasonably dangerous to the physical health or safety of the tenant or another person, the tenant fails to comply with a written lease provision requiring the tenant to:
         (A)   notify the landlord or the landlord’s agent, in writing, of the violation; and
         (B)   allow the landlord 15 days to correct the violation; or
      (9)   the landlord proves that the rent increase, service reduction, or attempted eviction was for good cause and not for purposes of retaliation against the tenant.
   (c)   An offense under this section may be prosecuted upon the filing of a written complaint by the tenant with the city attorney.  (Ord. Nos. 20017; 26455)