Saturday, January 4, 2014

Davidow v. Inwood North Professional Group-Phase I case brief

Davidow v. Inwood North Professional Group-Phase I case brief summary
747 S.W.2d 373 (1988)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner tenant sought review of judgment in favor of respondent landlord entered by the Court of Appeals, Fourteenth District (Texas), which reversed judgment in petitioner's favor entered by the trial court in respondent's action to recover unpaid rent under a commercial lease.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner leased space from respondent for use as a medical office. After entering the premises, petitioner discovered a number of problems, including a leaking roof, pest and rodent infestation, and respondent's failure to pay electric bills. Petitioner moved out and stopped paying rent. Respondent sued to recover unpaid rent, and petitioner answered that respondent had breached an implied warranty that the leased premises were suitable for use as a medical office, thus excusing petitioner from further rent payments.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The trial court entered judgment in defendant's favor, which was reversed by the court of appeals.

DISCUSSION

  • The state supreme court reversed, concluding petitioner was not liable for unpaid rent. 
  • It held there was an implied warranty of suitability by respondent in the commercial lease that the premises were suitable for their intended commercial purpose. 
  • Moreover, petitioner's obligation to pay rent was mutually dependent on, not independent of, respondent's implied warranty.

CONCLUSION
Judgment reversed, as there was implied warranty by respondent in commercial lease that the premises were suitable for their intended commercial purpose. In addition, obligation to pay rent was mutually dependent on warranty, so breach by respondent excused further rent payments by petitioner.

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