Coinmach Corp. v. Aspenwood Apartment Corp. (Corrected)Annotate this Case
A commercial tenant (Tenant) remained in possession of property for over ten years after Tenant lost its lease when the property was sold through foreclosure. The new owner (Owner) continually insisted that Tenant vacate the premises, and Tenant ultimately conceded that it had become a tenant at sufferance. Owner filed suit against Tenant, alleging claims for breach of the terminated lease, for trespass and other torts, and for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA). The trial court entered summary judgment for Tenant on all claims. The court of appeals reversed and remanded in part. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) a tenant at sufferance cannot be liable for breach of a previously terminated lease agreement; (2) a tenant at sufferance is trespassing and can be liable in tort, including tortious interference with prospective business relations; (3) Tenant in this case could not be liable under the DTPA; and (4) Owner in this case could not recover attorney’s fees under the Texas Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act.