Real Estate Law
Have Real Estate Law Questions? Ask a Real Estate Lawyer.
I added the provision when I signed the lease, they crossed out the provision and submitted it as the "final lease" without ever asking the real estate agent who was representing me, whether I was ok without the provision. They state that even if they keep the provision, that my graduate school is only 35 miles away and they consider that to be a reasonable commute, and therefore will not value it. I need to know what strategy to take to negotiate or file a lawsuit or protect myself from one. I am wondering whether I should not pay the rent for the last month to let them eat up the security deposit, they have threatened to use for the "penalty". My child custody attorney, said I can argue in court that there is in fact "no valid contract" since they did not accept my addendum and I never accepted their changes. The question is should I just move out, not pay the fees, and sort it out in court, or should I file a suit representing myself. Should I use up the security deposit for the last months rent because of their threats, to protect myself. Can you compile an attorney letter on my behalf stating they they have manipulated contract law? How do I prepare as I am weeks away from moving out, and they still have not posted the home for rent online, or allowed us to show the home to many people interested in renting it.
What the property manager made me sign under penalty of legal action was a contract stating I was going to pay a 1700.00 penalty for early lease termination before she would even put the property on the market. I payed half of that, and am supposed to pay another half for them to sign a new lease with a new tenant. How should I address this? Should I refuse to pay the other half and wait for the lawsuit, should I be bold enough to ask for that payment back since the contract is nullified? How should I approah this?
And you believe I can do all of this representing myself?
Do I tell the property manager that I have consulted with an attorney and explain why I am a month to month tenant because of the way they changed my addendum without telling my agent or ever having us sign off on the changes? How exactly should I talk to the manager?
All I can do is submit information to the property manager since I have no contact or address for the owner. The property manager states that if I try to look her up and contact or meet with her, that they will file a "restraining order". So to recap, I send an email to the property manager asking her to please forward it to the homeowner. I explain again that I added the clause regarding gradaute school on my copy of the lease, and that I would not have signed off on the lease if they did not accept my clause. They crossed off my changes, and never told told my real estate agent, (although my agent retrospectively found their email with a lease attachement with the owners changes) but they never divulged the changes, only sent the changes as an attachment in an email without making them clear. I could foresee having to call in my agent in my defense.... So I explain how because I never signed off on their changes to the lease, the lease is actually a month by month lease, and therefore is not subject to termination fees with a 30 day notice. I request the return of my penalty payment explaining that I would pursue the payment in small claims court. I explain that I have left the home in better conditiont than when I arrived, and have provided many interested renters to the owner to choose from and they have not been proactive in rerenting the property. Then I leave it at that, I should pay the last months rent. And if they try to hold my security deposit as a means of paying the penalty, I fild a case in small claims court. Is that about right?
Last few points. I have attached a copy of something I wrote up real quick, just let me know if I should add or remove anything. Thanks
We request that you please forward this email to the homeowner Patricia.
I have been in contact with legal services regarding the pending lease termination. When I signed the original lease I added an addendum regarding the “potential change of employment or start of a gradate program”, which is on page 9 of 12. I submitted that lease. Your response was that the owner rejected my addendum to the lease, and that information was emailed to my real estate agent Chrissi Chapman. After consulting with Ms. Chapman, we are in agreement that we never accepted your changes to my addendum. Yourself or the homeowner merely crossed out my addendum and signed the lease. I was never in agreement with those changes, and did not find out my clause was rejected by the homeowner until our communication July 11th, 2012. Therefore after consulting with a legal advisor, no legal lease was ever established, and we are on a month per month agreement which holds no termination fee with a 30 day notice. We not only will be unable to pay the additional 50% of the penalty, but we will need our original 50% penalty returned or we will pursue them in small claims court.
I will do that, when I respond in my email, can I mention your name or firm or anything of that sort? Can I use our communication in a potential small claims case?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I hope that I can use your advice to protect myself from potential negative legal actions and reclaim the penalty I have lost.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).