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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33147
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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We moved into our rental 01/2014 with a signed lease year at

Customer Question

We moved into our rental 01/2014 with a signed lease for one year at the end of the term we renewed the lease 12/10/14 at a negotiated rental amount Landlord sent to us and we signed and sent back. for a lease term from 01/2015 to 01/2017. We received a call form landlord in 4/16 That they are divorcing and want to put the house on the market. My understanding is whoever purchases has to honor that lease . Here is my question We cannot find a copy of lease they send back to us signed by them. I received a text form landlord stating they can find there and wanted a copy of ours. They then agreed to sign a new lease with a buy out if the house sell the buyer don't have to honor the lease. The landlord are now trying to back out if that ( we never signed that new lease) So do we have a legal lease until 01/2017 even though we don't have there signed copy of the lease? if not would my email and text show proof that they did enter into it based on the conversation in the texts?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Yes, if there was a signed lease for the time period from 1/2015 to 1/2017 then it would be a valid lease. Your problem, assuming that the current owners dispute whether the lease existed, is proving that there was a written lease. However, if you have extraneous evidence such as emails and texts then most judges will lean toward finding that a written lease existed.

The law requires that any contract for more than a year must be in writing to be enforceable. This is known as the "statute of frauds". However, your issue isn't that it wasn't in writing it is just that the writing has been lost so you have to be sure that the court understands the distinction.

Most judges use their common sense and since you are only talking about 6 more months or so, it's unlikely the judge would throw you out.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
OK. So to make sure I understand correctly Since I have the copy of the lease with our signature but not their the lease would still be valid or I would we have to fight that in court to prove it valid with texts and emails. If we refuse to sign this new lease with the buyout option because they are trying to put a clause in it they we do not agree then it reverts back to the old lease even though the house in on the market and under contract is this correct? Also I'm concerned with what there next step could be if we refuse to sign the new lease and we tell them we are sticking with the old one what can they do try and evict us?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

If we refuse to sign this new lease with the buyout option because they are trying to put a clause in it they we do not agree then it reverts back to the old lease even though the house in on the market and under contract is this correct?

Correct.

If you refuse to sign the new lease then they have to try and evict you but they will have a hard time doing that since you have a lease that they sent and you signed. They would have to show that you somehow breached the agreements in the lease to evict you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok thank you. I appreciate the info. they just called me and again said there "attorney" say we don't not have a valid lease because THEY did not sign it. I will see what the next step they will take. If I have further question I can just contact the same way?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 10 months ago.

Yes, you can contact me through this thread if it is a follow up question. Once you issue your Positive Rating, which I would ask you to do when you finish reading this, then the question will lock open and no longer timeout and close.

If the question is a new one, rather than a follow up, then you can open a new question and ask for me. Within a few minutes of you issuing your Positive Rating on this question you will receive a reply that explains how to specifically request me in the future on new questions.

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