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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 38879
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a little cognitive disability, and sometimes I get

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I have a little cognitive disability, and sometimes I get confused. My new lease was coming up and my landlord said that I didn't have to put my roommate on the lease. He pressured me saying that we would both be kicked out and I guess I believed him so that when it was time to sign I let him sign onto the lease. I know that I didn't mean to do that and now I regret it. Can I get a new lease with just my name if it's declared that I had a cognitive disability?


In Sparrow v. Demonico, 461 Mass. 322 (2012), the Massachusetts Supreme Court writes:

  • We conclude that our evolving standard of contractual incapacity does not in all cases require proof that a party's claimed mental illness or defect was of some significant duration or that it is permanent, progressive, or degenerative; but, without medical evidence or expert testimony that the mental condition interfered with the party's understanding of the transaction, or her ability to act reasonably in relation to it, the evidence will not be sufficient to support a conclusion of incapacity.


As can be seen from the above-quoted holding of the High Court, it is absolutely possible to avoid the current result of your lease -- however, only a court could make such a declaration, and only after considerable litigation -- with its associated expense.


The better means of avoiding the contract is to try to negotiate an agreement with the landlord and your roommate so that either your roommate or you can terminate the lease obligation and relocate without further liability.


Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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