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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 35320
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I rented a unit from the owner- she did not require a

Customer Question

I rented a unit from the owner- she did not require a deposit, I have not moved in. There is a rental agreement for a year. Neither one of us had any one review the lease agreement. Some parts are filled out, some are not. Now I have an opportunity to move in with my sister for 1/2 the price. I want to be nice about backing out. Do I have any legal rights? How should I approach the owner? I live in Florida.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Have you actually signed a written lease for a set term at a set monthly rental price?

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Have you paid any deposit or rent money to the landlord?

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Do they have your personal information like address, employer, SSN, DOB, etc on an application?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I signed a lease for a year with $1250 per month. There are several bland where there should be signatures, some pages have her initials not mine and vise versa. There is no personal information on the application such as SsN, employer or address. I have not moved in an nothing is in my name, such as utilities.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Blank not bland
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did u receive my updated information?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then legally, as soon as you signed the lease for a set term, for a specific address, for a specific price, you are legally bound to the contract. If you signed at the end of it, you would be presumed to have agreed with the entire lease under the "four corners doctrine". So the fact that some areas aren't filled out or initialed wouldn't give you grounds to terminate or avoid the lease.

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With that said, if you have decided to breach, if the landlord can't find you, then they would have a hard time suing you for breach for any lost rent until they re-rented.

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So in most situations like this, the landlord will just let it go if they can't get in contact with you to start the tenancy. With that said, I would suggest just sending a simple letter to the landlord stating that your circumstances have changed so you won't be able to continue with the tenancy and leave it at that.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did sign the last page, however there is an Early Termination Fee/Liquidated Damages Addendum. The owner signed this page it is not signed by me.
She checked the 2nd box- I do not agree to liquidated damages or an early termination fee and acknowledge that the landlord may seek damages as provided by law. As I said, my signature is not on that page. In addition, I picked up the lease to have it copied, because she did not give me a copy. So I have the only copy. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Look forward to your response.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
R u still there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did u see my last communication?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay, was out of office..

Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Basically if you breach, then the landlord can sue you for any lost rent until they re-rent, assuming that they can find you. If they can't find you, they can't sue you. The liquidated damages clause is not legally relevant unless you are negotiating a buy out of the lease. If you just break it, then that doesn't matter.

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thanks

Barrister