Background. Many churches rent property. What if the property becomes uninhabitable because of defective conditions on the premises? Under what circumstances is a church legally justified in abandoning rented premises? That was the issue addressed by a Texas court in a recent case. Facts. A church leased a facility in which it conducted religious services. When the church moved on the leased property one air conditioner was not working, and the property's two other air conditioners needed servicing. The pastor also discovered there was no insulation in the building and that one restroom did not work properly. To make matters worse, the roof leaked every time it rained. This caused offensive odors, a stained and rotting floor, and soaked ceiling tiles. The church abandoned the premises, and was promptly sued by the property owner for breach of contract.
The court's ruling. The court ruled that state law recognizes an "implied warranty" in any commercial lease that the premises are suitable for their intended purpose. Factors to be considered when determining whether there has been a breach of this warranty are: