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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6769
Experience:  Attorney 35 years extensive and active real estate practice; represents both landlords and tenants
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This is a contract question. I signed a lease contract horse

Customer Question

This is a contract question. I signed a lease contract for a horse that began on January 1, 2016, and was to end on December 31, 2016. However, the payments are made on a monthly basis, so the payment for the lease is made every month on the 1st. There is no termination clause in the lease. I have found myself in a situation where i can't ride for at least three months due to an injury. Am I right in that I just need to give 30 days notice to the horse's owners that he will be sent back due to my inability to ride? My limited knowledge of contract law is that since payments are made monthly, it's a month to month lease, and without a termination clause, 30 days notice automatically gets implied.
Additionally, the broker who helped facilitate the lease stated that we could send the horse back at any time if the lease did not work out.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 4 months ago.

Good afternoon, and I'm sorry to hear about your injury. There is no implied right of cancellation in a leasing contract whether it is for real estate or personal property. The right to cancel on 30 days notice exists for a month-to-month lease, but your lease is a one year lease, not a month to month. The monthly payment arrangement does not convert the lease into a month-to-month lease. Those are merely for the convenience of the parties. The lease term is for the entire year, without a right of cancellation. The statement of the broker about sending the horseback at any time if the lease didn't work out, will generally not be enforceable against the owner. That is because verbal representations made in negotiating a lease are normally not recognized as being part of the lease; however that is not 100% ironclad rule in all cases. The court would have to listen to all the facts and read the entire contract to see whether or not the broker statements were binding on the owner. It should have been written into the lease. However, that legal principle is not carved in stone, and courts can and sometimes do take into consideration verbal representations that are made during contract negotiations.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

So, what can be done about canceling the lease if there is no termination clause?

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 4 months ago.

If you have no legal right to terminate the lease, then your best option is to either assign the lease or sublease the horse to someone else. You must first read the lease agreement carefully to be sure that you have the legal right to do so. The rent you receive or the assignees payment to the owner will offset the payments that you are liable for during the duration of the lease.

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