Man claims landlord rented out condo without consent

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Dec 16, 2009

GALVESTON - A Harris County man claims his landlord rented out his condominium without his permission.

In a lawsuit filed Dec. 11 in Galveston County District Court, Mike Dayyani accuses Alicia Leal of Galveston of trespassing and invading his privacy when she executed a rental contract for unit 1702 at The Palms at Cove View with an unnamed third party.

"The defendants' actions caused a third party to physically, intentionally, and voluntarily enter real property rightfully owned by Mr. Dayyani," the suit says.

According to court papers, the plaintiff purchased the condominium in question in August 2008. They add that Leal, as property manager, kept a spare key purportedly for emergency services.

Dayyani recalls visiting the condominium with his wife in November 2008 when they found a stranger inside.

The plaintiff learned that his unit had been leased to a third party by Leal without his knowledge or consent, and a contract was already put into effect.

The seven-month contract set forth a rental rate of $1,400 per month.

Dayyani states the unit was fully furnished and occupied by his personal property at the time of the incident.

"The defendants' trespass caused injury to Mr. Dayyani's right of possession," the suit says.

"Mr. Dayyani was precluded from using and enjoying his condominium, and his personal property was converted or otherwise lost."

The plaintiff insists he has incurred expenses associated with repairing damages to the condominium.

He evokes the writ of respondeat superior against The Palms at Cove View for hiring and retaining Leal.

Palms Cove Management GP LLC and Palms Cove Management LP, which oversee the property, are also named defendants.

Houston attorneys Michael D. Hudgins and MaLinda Edwards Watson are representing Dayyani.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox.

Case No. 09CV2290

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