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Old 01-13-2015, 11:56 AM
1 posts, read 835 times
Reputation: 10


Hi first time poster. Hope you can help.

Can an owner of a building claim the square footage of an apartment is bigger than it actually is? And, if not what are the legal repercussions of misrepresenting the correct square feet?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:41 AM
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DTPA, but it is a hard case to try and might not be worth the effort. You see these type of cases more frequently in home cases. My friend had one about ten years ago where the real estate agent handed out flyers (without any qualifiers) that the home had 2,500 square feet. The day before the closing, the appraiser called the seller's agent and stated that the real square footage was 2,300 square feet. The house was still appraising for loan purposes so the bank did not raise a fuss. Subsequent to closing, the purchaser found out about the missing 200 square feet and sued everyone. The case went to trial and the purchaser won.

Now for an apartment, I think the case is much harder. You have to compare comps of other apartment complexes and show that you overpaid for your apartment compared to other complexes.

Finally, if you goal is just to terminate the lease, file a declaratory judgment action in your local JP and ask the judge to determine that the apartment complex lied about the size of the apartment and you want out. The lease likely has language that it supersedes are other written and oral representations, but you may get farther in JP Court since they can, at times, ignore the law. Don't be afraid to allege fraud in the inducement.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:57 AM
Location: North Texas
23,627 posts, read 31,255,367 times
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It's been years since I had a lease, but I remember my lease did state that it was the renter's responsibility to "verify" the square footage of the unit.

Same deal with my house...buyer has to verify.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:58 AM
769 posts, read 490,893 times
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This also depends on how you measure it. The appraisal district measures the outside dimensions of a building to determine the taxable square footage. So if someone advertises the size of a property based on the appraisal district information, it will be bigger than the actual usable space.

For example, my house has 16 inch thick exterior walls and 390 linear feet of exterior walls so this is approx. 520 square feet of area that is listed (and taxed) on the appraisal district but missing from the usable space.

I see houses in the MLS all the time where the size info is taken from the appraisal district...
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:37 AM
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
30,008 posts, read 34,648,657 times
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OP is talking about apartment footage not Residential Home footage which would be an entirely different game.

OP what is your difference and complaint? As mentioned, Deceptive Advertising might apply if you want to file a lawsuit.
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