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I live at an apartment complex in Texas that has cut and pasted the Texas Apartment Association's logo onto their leases, but are not now or possibly never was a member. I was always suspicious by the way it looks, but now my suspicions have been confirmed by TAA. Is that fraud? Also does that make the leases they are using invalid?

  • I doubt it would invalidate your lease. I don't know whether it's fraud, but I suspect it is. It is certainly trademark infringement, assuming the TAA has protected their trademark. – phoog Jun 25 '16 at 3:01
  • A crucial element of fraud is that the statement (implied claim to being a member) was material. Why would it matter to you one way or the other? – user6726 Jun 25 '16 at 4:53
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It is on the fringe of fraud, but probably does not cross that line. If they have never been a member, and have misappropriated the form, it is, as others have said, trademark infringement (AFAIK it does not even matter if the TAA has protected its trademark) - if they were previously a member and its an old form the law would be less clear.

If this form was used to deceive you in some way then I'd say this would be covered under forgery laws.

It would probably not invalidate the lease, unless you can demonstrate that you relied on them being a member of the Texas Apartment Association when signing the lease.

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