My landlord in Texas has the whole residential lease contract formatted for Legal paper, but, for whichever reason, they instead print the PDF as zoomed out on Letter, and the whole thing becomes unreadable small print with wide empty stripes left and right ("no text was cut", they proclaim).

They claim their procedure was cleared with their legal dept. Is it in fact legal?

For example, in California, Sec 1630, has the following provision for some types of contracts:

(b) All the provisions of the contract are printed legibly in eight-point type or larger.

  • is it objectively illegible?
    – Andrew
    Jul 6 '15 at 15:38
  • @Andrew, I would guess it ends up being below 8pt, perhaps around 7pt or 6pt.
    – cnst
    Jul 6 '15 at 15:45

Generally, contract terms and conditions must be legible, especially when one is trying to enforce the contract. If the court cannot read the contract as written, it can create its own reasonable terms.

According to JD Supra(this is not for a rental lease, but a business opportunity contract):

In one instance, a Texas business opportunity contract must have certain information in ten point type, including: the terms of payment; a detailed description of the acts or services that the seller will perform for the purchaser; the seller’s principal business address; the name and address of the seller’s registered agent in Texas; the delivery date; and a description of the nature of the buy-back or security agreement, if there has been one represented by the seller. TEX. BUS. & COM. CODE § 51.201.

  • so, practically, there's little recourse for such contract? or could you, for example, claim that sublet fee of $200 is null and void, since it's too small for you to see? state law prohibits sublet by default, so, would doing so give you any benefits?
    – cnst
    Jul 6 '15 at 17:48
  • You might check out the restatements. lexinter.net/LOTWVers4/effect_of_misunderstanding.htm
    – Andrew
    Jul 6 '15 at 17:54
  • 1
    Restatement is not 'law' but it is a very strong secondary source. Generally, the Restatements govern non-goods contract law and the UCC governs 'goods' contract law.
    – Andrew
    Jul 6 '15 at 18:07
  • 1
    Restatements are especially helpful when there is a contention in current state law or if you are asking the court to change a prior interpretation / first-impression.
    – Andrew
    Jul 6 '15 at 18:08

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