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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience:  25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
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I live in an apartment complex in which I resigned a lease ...

Customer Question

I live in an apartment complex in which I resigned a lease for the summer when it was under one property manager, a few months later the complex changed management companies without notification to the tenants. The contract that I signed had the logo of the former management company on the document. Is the contract that I signed in February void? Does the current company have the right to take any action against me (ie serving an eviction notice)? The situation is that they are claiming that I am in violation of my contract (which I am not) but they will not listen, nor is this new management company. I am looking at trying to pursue this from every angle that I can think if legally, but since I am a student in a University, I must be careful with my finances. This is the first avenue that I can think of is to see if the contract is void.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

DearCustomer- The contract is not void due to the changing of the management or ownership. Lease contracts are enforceable by both the landlord and tenant and if the landlord changes the lease remains in effect until its term is up.

I'm not certain what your goal is in this situation as to whether you want to stay or move. It sounds like you want to stay but then you also want to know if the lease is void. In any event, if they are trying to evict you they cannot do so unless you have violated the lease terms since they are bound by the lease.

If you want to move and they want you to leave then I don't see a problem but if you want to leave and they want to hold you to the lease then, of course, you have a problem since the contract is binding on both parties.

If they have served the eviction notice you will have to defend on the basis that you did not break the lease. Since thy will not listen to your side of the argument you will have to tell it to the court. They will have to sue you for forcible entry and detainer if you fail to abide by the eviction notice. You will have to file an answer and then have a trial.

You did not indicate in your question what cause of action they have in asking you to move so I cannot comment directly on that.

David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dave Kennett's Post: I have a no alcohol clause in the lease (student), but I am over age (irrelevant). I was doing some cleaning that the apartment refuses to do, and this had not been done in years (due to roommates coming and going). I found empty beer bottles in the back of one of the storage areas, some full and I dumped them out. At that point I had to go to work, I got home went to bed, and was woken by knocking at the door. Before I got to the door the managers were already in the apartment (they claim that they were looking to see if the other rooms were clean). He says nothing, I get a 3 day eviction notice (which they just posted, not making an attempt to give it to me).
I tried to plead my case to them, but they refused to listen. They will only have word of mouth that there were empty beer bottles there, no photos, no proof that they were mine. It is not that I want to stay here, I being a student do not have the money, the time, or even the real possibility of being able to find and sign with another place in 3 days. The reason for my questioning was to see if the contract being void, to get the eviction overturned. Then when my actual contract is up in a few months, Ill be prepared to move.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

I don't believe from what you day that they have any proof that you had alcohol in your unit and I believe you have a reasonable defense in court. If you want to leave now I would contact the landlord and agree not to fight the eviction if they would simply terminate the lease. If they won't then you can either move and have the eviction on your record or you can fight the eviction based on no cause to evict.

Dave Kennett

Dave Kennett, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience: 25 years experience in general law, including real estate, criminal, traffic, and domestic relations
Dave Kennett and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dave Kennett's Post: Yes, this is just it. There really is no where else to go. Do you think in your professional opinion that if I were to contact an attorney on Monday, have him draft a letter or a phone call to these places stating my case, do landlords tend to quash the eviction if there is a reasonable case? It is not a question of want or not to stay here, at this point is it a question of need to stay right now as I am not able to enter another lease (esp with an evict) in the amount of time that I am ordered to vacate.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

I think that you have a good defense to the eviction. I cannot say that a letter from an attorney will cause them to drop it but it sure would not hurt to try. If they think you are serious about staying then I can't imagine why they would want to fight over this, especially since you will be leaving in 3 months and an eviction can take 6 to 8 weeks if you fight it. Once again I can't promise anything since they have a right to try to evict you and you have a right to contest it.

Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
From the way that I have interpreted your last statement, it made it seem like that if I were to contest this eviction, the notice to vacate is suspended until a hearing? Or, am I mistaken on this?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

Absolutely - you don't have to just move because they gave you a notice. You need to tender your rent for June and if they won't accept you can pay it into escrow in your local court so you can't be evicted for non payment of rent. Then they will have to file a suit in forcible entry and detainer and then you can file an answer to get a trial date.

As I said, an eviction can take quite a bit of time so if they see you are serious I can't imagine why they would go to trial over a few beer bottles.

Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dave Kennett's Post: Do I need to still contact an attorney to have any documentation stating that I am challenging the eviction? I would figure that tomorrow when they attempt to execute the eviction that they may bring in law enforcement, is there something that I need to show them of my intentions to challenge?
You have been a life saver, for the past few days after I received this notice it has beyond stressed me out, it has affected my classes (those that I am teaching and those that I am a student). You deserve a lot of praise, and I shall see to it that I give you everything I am able to for your help. Thank you so much!

Zackary Weber
Utah Valley University
Department of Philosophy
Phi Sigma Tau, Vice President
Philosophy Club Chair
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 6 years ago.

I always recommend consulting with an attorney since I cannot review all documents from this venue. It is difficult to provide specific legal advice on any case from here and our information is general in nature. If all you have received is a notice of eviction then they would have to file suit and get a court order to evict you.

In any event you may want to still contact a lawyer in case the landlord tries to use "self help" and force you out.

Dave Kennett

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