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We broke our lease at an apartment complex due to vicious breed

dogs that we didn't know...
We broke our lease at an apartment complex due to vicious breed dogs that we didn't know were there when moving in. Doberman Pincher, Pit Bull and 2 Chows. I was suddenly surrounded by 2 Labs with my 15 lb dog and they were jumping up to us. I was in fear of living there. The manager verbally allowed us to break our lease but kept our deposit and refunded dog amount of $200. The apartment was leased the next day. Were we within the law to break the lease early?
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
7/8/2013
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,021
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
Verified
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Hi there and thanks so much for requesting me. I answered this for you in another thread. I'll re-post that answer for you below in case you didn't get it...



Good morning. Yes, you did have the right to terminate your lease. With every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of your rented premises. You were clearly not being afforded such enjoyment of your premises with your health at peril due to dangerous dogs being allowed in the complex….and therefore the landlord breached the implied warranty of habitability. This put the landlord in default. You should send the landlord a certified, return receipt requested letter notifying the landlord he was in default and demand that your security deposit be refunded in full and that you will be making a determination and providing notification shortly of any damages you may have suffered as a result of the default.


Also, you should be aware that even had you not had a right to terminate and been deemed in default, you still would have no further liability because the landlord re-leased your space. Once re-let, you have no further obligations beyond that point even if in default.



Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I've read my lease and it doesn't say anything about that so does that still apply in my situation? Is this a TX Tenant law? Is there somewhere that I can print this out to show the apartment complex to protect myself? So if the apartment was rented immedietly then they cannot charge us the re-letting fee?

Thanks so much for following up. It need not be in the lease. Under Texas law, landlord's have an implied warranty of habitability.

And, with regard to if you were in default, which you are not, the landlord is only entitled to damages. If the apartment is re-leased immediately, then a landlord would have no damages and thus would not be able to retain your deposit to cover damages that were not suffered.

Regarding printing this, you have a Share button on the bottom right of your original question box. If you hover over it with your mouse, one of the options is email and also Print.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


So I don't know if your statement is enough to satisfy the apartment owners. Is there somewhere that I can find this warranty of habibility by TX law so I can show them that? I realize you are a certified Lawyer in TX but I would feel better if I had some TX state law showing this to back up my letter.

The warranty of habitability was originally established by the Texas Supreme Court in Kamarath v. Bennett, 568 S.W.
2d 658 [Tex. 1978]). This was subsequently codified in
Section 92 of the Texas Property Code.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


I looked it up really quick and I did not see section 92 but it did say what you referred to about warranty of informing before signing about danger. Well that's hypothetically what it said. So I don't mean to be redundant but this is a TX court hearing that went into law and still applies today? This definitely applies to this situation? Please forgive me for asking repeatedly but I have not heard about anything from this company for 3 mos and I know I owe the rest of the water bill but the manager has stated 3 times that she has sent it by mail and by email but I have never received it. Is there anything I can do about that?

This is so typical of landlords because their methods are simply to try to intimidate the tenants because most of the time it works. A tenant is simply not required to remain in a lease where the tenant's health and safety are in peril because of the landlord allowing other tenants in the complex to have "dangerous breeds" of dogs. The landlord doesn't get to make up the law to suit himself; let them know he can either resolve this in a manner satisfactory to you or you will file a claim against the landlord in small claims court. The landlord tenant laws are drafted very much in favor of the tenant due to the typical behavior of landlords such as yours. The judge will not be intimidated and will not be amused by the landlord's bullying tactics.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Okay I really appreciate your info but you said I could send this to my email. How do I do that and then I will rate you.

Thanks for your reply! You should have a Share button on the bottom right of your original question box. If you hover over it with your mouse, one of the options is email.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


May I please have your name?

Sure...my name is Richard. :)
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,021
Experience: 32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
Verified
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Richard
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Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 56,021
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