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Roger, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31731
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I signed a rental agreement with my domestic partner to rent

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I signed a rental agreement with my domestic partner to rent a apartment for one year in NY state. We have recently seperated and both my ex and my landlord are requesting rent from me. I recently found out that the apartment we have been renting was never inspected and cleared by the town. I want to know if the rental is not legal, is the lease still valid? If npt what should be my next move?

Kirk Adams : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.
Kirk Adams : IF local ordinances requires that an apartment be cleared/approved by the town BEFORE it can be rented, then the lease agreement should be void because it was made for a property that wasn't cleared to be rented.
Kirk Adams : However, if there is no requirement for the property to be cleared/approved before being rented, then the lease is valid and you are 100% obligated to pay the rent (just like your partner) for the full term of the lease.
Kirk Adams : If that were the case, you would have to negotiate with your landlord and partner about getting out of the lease. They may agree to let you out for a fee, etc.

Alright, what should I do if the rental is not legal and they are threating to take me to court?

Kirk Adams : In that case, you can claim that the lease is void as a matter of law due to the fact that the apartment was not approved prior to it being rented.
Kirk Adams : if the landlord will not voluntarily agree to void the contract, you would have to file a suit to have the contract found void under the local ordinances that require inspection/approval as a prerequisite to renting.
Kirk Adams : OR
Kirk Adams : If they sue you for the money due under the lease, you could file a counter-claim against the landlord based on the fact that lease is void due to the landlord's failure to get approval.

thank you for you're time.

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