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Marc
Marc, Attorney at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 313
Experience:  Experienced Attorney
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Second opinion] - My son signed a one year lease in an apt.

Customer Question

Second opinion] - My son signed a one year lease in an apt. complex. At the end of the lease he was not asked to sign another lease. It has been a year and a half with no lease. The landlord called last month, asked if he planned to stay another year - he said yes on the phone and she put a lease on his door to sign and return. He has not signed this lease. Meanwhile he found a house to rent and put a down payment on the house. Is he still bound by the original lease?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Kentucky
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: Not since the first lease that was for one year - it has been two and a half years total that he has lived there.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The landlord wants him to pay two months rent and an extra $100.00 per month since June stating the rent should have been increased to month to month - nothing was ever mentioned by the landlord about a month to month lease.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Marc replied 7 months ago.

Hello. My name is Marc. I'm a licensed attorney and I will be happy to answer your question.

Once the lease expired, it turned into a month-to-month lease. As such, the terms of the original lease - including the rent - applied during the month-to-month tenancy.

So yes - your son was bound by the terms of the original lease in general. I don't know what the terms of the lease are, so I'll assume that there was a provision that required your son to give 30, 60 or maybe 90 days notice before terminating the lease. In Kentucky, tenants are required to give a minimum of 30 days notice before terminating a month-to-month lease. Therefore, even if the original lease required a longer period of time, your son only had to give 30 days notice.

I mention all this about notice because I am assuming that the landlord is seeking 2 months rent based on a longer notice period stated in the lease. He has no right to do so. He is only entitled to one month rent if your son gave less than 30 days notice. Also, he is absolutely not entitled to the extra $100/month. Remember - the essential terms of the original lease - including the rent - was still effective. Since the new lease was not ultimately executed, there is nothing in writing stating any rent increase.

Finally - the fact that your son said "yes" on the phone and the landlord delivered the new lease to him is irrelevant. The fact is that your son did not sign the new lease. As such, it isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Leases and other agreements MUST be in writing and MUST be signed.

I hope this answers your question and provides useful information with which you can better understand your issues and options. If so, please feel free to rate my answer, as that is the only way I can get paid. And best of luck to you and your son.

Kind regards,

Marc