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So I learned the hard way that in Texas its best to rent from a landlord offering a single family home and not from an apartment complex because in Texas quiet enjoyment is only recognized between the landlord and the tenant, not between the landlord and tenant and those whom the landlord brings on as tenants without some type of proper vetting such ensuring they make three times the rent. So I am looking for the case law that lead to the inability for judges in Texas to understand the following analogy.

If I rent a room in a hotel and I have rented hotels to go on vacations and what not. If hotel management also rented a room to someone beside me or above me and they brought a cat and are allowing the cat to urinate in the hallways and I can smell that and I report that. The hotel will apologize, give me a new room and probably throw in something complimentary and then deal with the guest with the urinating cat.

You see the above there, thats called good customer service and yet if a tenant does the same thing and it stinks to high heaven, its unsanitary as well, the landlord of the apartment complex in Texas is under no obligation to do anything about it and I have experienced that they indeed do not do anything about it.

So if there is a precedent that absolved landlords of apartment complexes from being held responsible for the type of "guest" if you will, that they allow to rent from them, what case is that?

If there is no precedent, then I have to ask, does Texas court see tenants as synonymous with "deadbeat", "debt-serf", "asset", "non-person"? Or put another way, why does my quiet enjoyment not extent to the landlord AND the genteel that they decide or not decide to take on as tenants or "guests" to use the hotel analogy.

I am pretty certain my analogy makes sense. I am a paying customer, a tenant, the law says quiet enjoyment is implicit in lease agreements (although it seems weak and its preferable to have something explicit in the lease such as in the case of Fidelity Mutual v. Kowalsky) and it should extend to not just what the landlord does or does not do to me, but the people they choose to serve or employ. I am pretty certain I have never stayed at a Hampton Inn where they would tell me, well thats between you and the other guest, you guys hash it out.

And if at all possible how much does the fact that apartment complexes throughout Texas are owned by hedge funds and real estate holding companies weigh in to that disconnect in the above analogy?

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  • "the landlord of the apartment complex in Texas is under no obligation to do anything about it and I have experienced that they indeed do not do anything about it." The hotel management in your example also isn't legally obligated to do that for you. At this point you seem to be discussing ethics, and judges don't rule based on those. As you say, it's "good customer service", but there is no legal obligation there. – Ron Beyer Jun 8 '20 at 4:24
  • Hotels aren't landlords to their guests, and tenancy law is often specified beyond"normal" contract law (and sometimes, so is temporary accommodation regulation), so your analogy is legally nonsense. – Nij Jun 8 '20 at 4:45
  • The premise of this question, that the implied warranty of quiet enjoyment does not place a burden on Texas landlords to protect their tenants from nuisances caused by other tenants, seems to be contradicted by the attorney general. Why do you think it is so? As to the cat peeing in the hall, my first question is to ask what the lease says about maintenance of the common areas. – phoog Jun 10 '20 at 3:11
  • @phoog, what seemed to me to contradict is the sentiment of most attorneys I talk to. Such as saying things like "broken AC, what's the big deal"...in Texas no less. A more honest approach would be, "I am not going to make any real money on your case, but you can certainly fight it yourself, you are in the right". Or others saying things like "those kinds of cases are fraught", meaning I don't stand a chance in court. And then finally the one attorney that would fight the status quo saying "you can try but the landlord is under no obligation to do so" – Daniel Jun 11 '20 at 21:10
  • @phoog, so the question becomes, if Texas does place a burden on landlords to protect their tenants from nuisances caused by other tenants, what is the hesitance of Texas attorneys to pursue something like this? Not a money maker? A concern that going against a leasing company may hamper their ability to represent a more lucrative client such as a leasing company in the future? – Daniel Jun 11 '20 at 21:14
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If I rent a room in a hotel and I have rented hotels to go on vacations and what not. If hotel management also rented a room to someone beside me or above me and they brought a cat and are allowing the cat to urinate in the hallways and I can smell that and I report that. The hotel will apologize, give me a new room and probably throw in something complimentary and then deal with the guest with the urinating cat.

The relationship between a boarder and a hotel is not the same as that of a landlord and tenant. This is a major distinction, the hotel is acting as a service provider, not a landlord and enjoys some careful distinctions, like being able to remove a boarder for non-payment without going through an eviction process...

You see the above there, thats called good customer service and yet if a tenant does the same thing and it stinks to high heaven, its unsanitary as well, the landlord of the apartment complex in Texas is under no obligation to do anything about it and I have experienced that they indeed do not do anything about it.

Yes, this is "customer service" on the hotel's part. They are trying to win your continued business because you can walk away and not pay for future visits. They, however, are not legally obligated to do any of that for you. They can just say "sorry" and not do anything and you'll be obligated to the night's you've stayed (including any nights you leave after the check-out time due to a dispute). They don't have to give you anything for your trouble.

So if there is a precedent that absolved landlords of apartment complexes from being held responsible for the type of "guest" if you will, that they allow to rent from them, what case is that?

Again, a tenant is not a "guest", in many legal senses of the term. The tenant has rights and you may be able to move to leave your apartment early and sever the relationship if your requests are not met and they rob you of "peaceful enjoyment" of your property, but the landlord is not obligated to rectify the situation outside the terms of your (and their) lease. They don't owe you anything other than what they are obligated to provide in writing (and the law). If you find your peaceful enjoyment is hindered, start documenting and requesting resolution. They won't do anything for you, but when you move and break your lease, you can defend yourself in small claims.

And if at all possible how much does the fact that apartment complexes throughout Texas are owned by hedge funds and real estate holding companies weigh in to that disconnect in the above analogy?

None, a "landlord" is not defined to be a private individual or a corporation. The only time that I know something like this has come into effect is for military housing off-base where leases are negotiated en-mass, there was a case of price fixing and failure to resolve problems. I forget the exact case but the company lost billions in contracts... A "landlord" is held to the same standards be it a "mom and pop", or a multinational billion-dollar corporation.

And, as you are very much finding out, Texas is a very "landlord friendly" state that gives a lot of power to landlords. For example, in Texas, a landlord can change your locks at any time as long as they leave instructions on where to find/obtain the replacement keys. They can also enter the property at any time if they suspect a situation which may be damaging the property.

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  • thank you for your response, regarding "If you find your peaceful enjoyment is hindered, start documenting and requesting resolution. They won't do anything for you, but when you move and break your lease, you can defend yourself in small claims." The understanding I get from attorneys is that this type of case rarely wins and then there would be the last few months plus fees and fines left to pay. – Daniel Jun 8 '20 at 15:04
  • I also disagree with Texas courts inability to distinguish between "multinational billion-dollar corporation" which is a vague term, these are financial institutions, hedge funds and holding companies whose job it is to maximize shareholder value not ensure they provide some of the best apartment complexes in the nation, very different, but I get Texas courts pretends that Glass-Steagall never existed and yes I know it had more to do separating commercial banking from investment banking, similarly here, could have been apply to separate commercial/investment/residential real estate. – Daniel Jun 8 '20 at 15:09
  • By the way, this is kind of the overall answer I was looking for: rentalhousingjournal.com/…. The part where it says: "Southern states,which relied mostly on agriculture during the first days of our nation, valued land ownership above all else and subsequently shaped their laws to protect landlords and their properties." Thats why I was asking if it was case-law or some kind of precedent, well, there is the precedent. Thanks again for the answer. So southern states have always favored the landed gentry. – Daniel Jun 8 '20 at 15:29
  • I hate to think how Texas handled the lead poisoning days of the 70s where most apartment complexes were using lead paint that was poisoning the children of the tenants, big fiasco with huge lawsuits for Texas to see the light I imagine with attorneys from other states licensed here having to step up I bet. – Daniel Jun 8 '20 at 15:31
  • For me this preference for the landed gentry is outdated and encourages slumlords as I am not a sharecropper here, I have a certain level of expectation and while I was short-sighted in not ensuring it was in the lease, this will not happen again, I can always vote with my feet. – Daniel Jun 8 '20 at 15:57
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You do have a right to peaceful enjoyment of your property.

Your landlord may not interfere with this.

However if he rents out an adjacent property and the tenant of that property interferes with your right, then the person violating your right isn't the landlord, but the new tenant.

If the actions of your neighbors amount to legal nuisance (e.g. Loud noises deep into the night, terrible smells, etc.) then you may make a claim against that individual.

Your landlord is under no obligation to prevent new tenants from interfering with your enjoyment of your property. That responsibility lies with those tenants themselves.

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  • thank you for answer. Making a claim in court against an individual who is chronically unemployed or underemployed does not seem fruitful. When the court hearing is all done they will go back to their apartment and probably do more of the same since now they are angry they had to appear in court and they know you don't like a certain behavior. Now if that claim lead to an eviction or something on their record that shows they are a nuisance neighbor, but the latter is probably useless since it probably would not matter to a future apartment complex. – Daniel Jun 8 '20 at 14:54
  • I don't know about Texas law, but this answer is certainly not correct for New York. – phoog Jun 10 '20 at 2:38
  • The Texas attorney general disagrees with this answer. – phoog Jun 10 '20 at 3:06
  • @phoog ive looked through your link and haven't found anything inconsistent with my answer. I welcome any edit suggestions to my answer, with justifications of course. – Shazamo Morebucks Jun 10 '20 at 12:43

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