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Last week I signed a lease for a rental property in which

Customer Question
Hello. Last week I signed...
Hello. Last week I signed a lease for a rental property in which the landlord did not sign. I have now decided that I no longer want to rent the property and want to go a different route. Is this lease a binding contract even though the landlord did not sign their portion of the lease?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Maryland
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: As far as what?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: This is a brand new lease. I have not moved in yet but I did pay a deposit. Rent has not been paid yet only the deposit and the landlord never signed the lease only myself.
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
7/24/2017
Lawyer: socrateaser, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 39,353
Experience: Retired (mostly)
Verified

Hello,

If you have not received exclusive possession of the rental property (i.e., the keys, or the landlord has not completed all conditions precedent to occupancy, described in the lease -- e.g., repairs), then you can deliver a letter to the landlord (preferably hand delivery by a third party who can testify to the date and time of delivery), stating that as you have not received a signed copy of the lease, you are revoking your offer to lease effective immediately. That will terminate the lease agreement.

The landlord will almost certainly claim that either the lease was signed but not yet delivered to you; or, that you have waived your right to a refund of the deposit, because the landlord has suffered a loss of rent which would have been received, if the property had been rented to someone else.

Typically, if you don't seek recovery of the deposit, the landlord is likely to move on and that will end the matter. But, if the rental property is managed by a large management organization, you could see a negative credit report entry, and you'll have to dispute the entry with the credit reporting agency/ies (CRA: Experian, Transunion, Equifax).

The alternative is to discuss the matter with the landlord and attempt to negotiate a release from further liability for the lease in exchange for your agreement to relinquish the deposit. If the landlord accepts, then you're done. If not, then you're probably looking at the negative credit report issue.

I realize that my answer may not be exactly what you were hoping to read. However, under the circumstances, the best that I can do is to explain what the law is and is not, so that you can avoid expending valuable resources looking for answers that do not exist, and concentrate on the options that are actually available.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Category: Legal
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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).

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