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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33761
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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My daughter was in college in statesboro GA. She moved to

Customer Question

My daughter was in college in statesboro GA. She moved to New York and was not paying the rent i am the guranter on the lease so the complex contacted me and i started paying the rent. I got a key from the individual who i tought was the manager because he was the individual who had contacted me and i spoke to when i went to the apartment. I am now paying the rent early. However recently my second daughter who is in school down there also has been trying to find someone to sublet the apartment for me she allowed the individual the opportunity to wash his clothes in the apartment. He spent three hours there and and went out to get something to eat and by the time he came back the locks on the door was changed. I called the manager on duty and she told me that i only have a financial obligation to pay the rent because i was not on the lease and i should not have be given the keys by Clay. She gave my daughter the new Key after i inststed that she did. She did inform me that she was going to change the locks again. Did she break the lease when she lock us out of the apartment ans since i am not on the lease i am liable for the apartment or what should i do?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Did she break the lease when she lock us out of the apartment ans since i am not on the lease i am liable for the apartment or what should i do?

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What she did was violate the lease terms by preventing the tenant from accessing the dwelling that she had a legal right to access. But she didn't break the lease so as to allow you to walk away and not have any further obligation. So this isn't going to be a "get out of lease" situation.

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However, what the landlord did was conduct an illegal eviction by changing the locks, even if she later restored possession and that would give the legal tenant, who is daughter 1 listed on the lease, the right to sue them for punitive damages due to their actions. The landlord would likely defend and say that they saw the unknown individual in the dwelling or on the property, and then took action to secure the property, but gave daughter 2 access with a new key even though she isn't legally a tenant on the lease.

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The problem here is that only the legal tenant on the written lease has the right to enforce the rights of the lease. That is daughter 1, not you and not daughter 2. You are stuck in the position of just being on the hook for paying, but legally aren't a tenant. And daughter 2 has no rights whatsoever under the lease.

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So to be honest, even though what the landlord did was wrong, it is understandable given the situation and only daughter 1 would have the legal standing to pursue this if she wanted to do so. I think that if daughter 1 tried to pursue this, a judge would rule "no harm, no foul" because the legal tenant, daughter 1, wasn't actually denied possession, daughter 2, who has no legal rights here, was denied access.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What are the rights of the Guaranter
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.

Unfortunately, you don't really have any. When you signed on as a guarantor, you are saying "If the tenant doesn't pay, then I will." And you offer yourself up to be liable if the tenant doesn't perform under the lease. But you aren't legally a tenant so as to be able to enforce any rights under the lease.

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So to be very honest, the guarantor is in the worst possible situation in a leasing situation...

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I am sorry the news isn't better

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thanks

Barrister

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