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Old 01-13-2009, 03:34 PM
 
4 posts, read 15,755 times
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Hi For personal reasons I really need to move to be closer to my family who live in another state. I currently live in a nice apartment complex in Katy and I am in the 6 month of a 12 month lease. I have been reading my lease to see if there is anyway to get out of it (which there isn't without steep penalties) but have noticed that at the top of the first page of the lease it says "This Lease Contract is only valid if filled out before January 1, 2008." The lease was filled out on October 18, 2008. The lease is a standard Texas Apartment Association contract. I know I am probably grasping at straws here, but could the error be used as a loophole to invalidate the lease? It is printed on the lease itself and not something the leasing agent typed in. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Houston
3,565 posts, read 4,533,877 times
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I'm not sure, but there might be a chance. You should check with the Houston Apartment Association.

Houston Apartment Association - Welcome



Also, you might wanna read this.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...2080508AArpVEo

Not sure if the response is correct.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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Where does that appear? I don't know what that is referring to, doesn't sound right at all.

In general the TAA lease is the tightest pro-landlord lease in a very pro-landlord state. They are pretty iron-clad unless your Manager and you can come to some sort of terms over an early termination.

You can ask about that one issue and see, but I doubt you have any way to waive the lease. Your best course of action is to speak directly to the Manger, (not the book keeper or leasing agent), and see what kind of deal you can work out. In any event I am betting you can count on the 85% of one month's cost of reletting. If you received any sort of concessions up front, (month free, etc) in consideration for the month free, they may have had you sign an amendment or put something in special provisions requiring that to be paid back basically. A lot of it will depend upon how full the property is and how in demand your particular unit is. If the property is pretty full and yours is a high demand unit, then they may let you out for the cost of reletting and call it a day. If they are struggling in occupancy then they will do their dead level best to hold you to the lease.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:41 PM
 
Location: FL/TX Coasts
1,464 posts, read 3,943,412 times
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you may wanna consult with a lawyer...look up one in the yellow pages, they offer the first consultation FREE.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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you can write to the landlord, giving your 1month advanced notice to vacate. that could just be what protection they needed out of the contract and let you go. that worked for me in NJ
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:10 PM
 
4 posts, read 15,755 times
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Thanks for all the responses. Modster, this clause is written on the front page of the lease, in a highlighted box, in the top margin of the lease. It is right between the TAA and HAA logos centered about 1/2 in. from the top of the page and clearly states the lease isn't valid if filled out prior to Jan.1, 2008. My lease is your typical long, narrow contract and about 6 pages long. It clearly states the early move out fees so I am in no doubt about what the penalties would be if the lease is valid. The property I am in is only about 6 months old and only about 1/2 full so something tells me they won't want to lose a tenant. But after finding this error I just wondered if it would be worth pursing. Maybe a free legal consultation just to find out one way or the other would be the way to go?
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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Times have changed since the 20+ years since I lived in an apartment, but back then you could get out of the lease if in fact you were moving out of state. Have you asked about that? I think the other was military service. Perhaps leaving to take care of your <insert relative here> might work.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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Even if a lawyer says you can probably use that statement to void your lease, his opinion is not binding. If the landlord disagrees and decides to sue you for damages, you are going to have to defend yourself and prove the lease is invalid. But more than likely they will simply report it to trade associations and credit bureaus where the burden of action is on you to contest it. Even if you "prevail" you might find yourself "blacklisted" and your lease applications getting denied in the future.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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I am wondering if that line has something to do with the regular updates TAA does to their form? That may have used a template that was older than the most updated one, if that makes sense. In which case still using the "old" form may somehow make it invalid. I really don't know on that one.

As far as giving a month notice, or moving out of state, no, those are not valid excuses that will get you out of TAA lease. I will put it this way, DEATH is literally not a valid excuse to get out of TAA lease. I am not kidding. Read it and you will see. (although in the real world no one actually pursues that).

It would be worth getting an Attorney's opinion. If it isn't valid, it would probably involve the cost of a letter from the Attorney explaining your position. Most management companies will not hassle with that unless they are on "firm ground" for their position. If a tenant has an Attorney and a legal loop hole to get out, they won't fight it.

Now if the Attorney says no, it does not negate the lease, then you are back to having a conversation with the Manager. I think in that case you are stuck. A lease is a binding contract and you are committed.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:55 AM
 
4 posts, read 15,755 times
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Thanks again for all the replies. At least it gives me something to check into. If the lease is valid I will just have to try and work with the manager and go from there. Does anyone have a recommendation for an Attorney in or around the Katy area?
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