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My boss pressured me to sign a contract under the assumption he would be paying it but has not. He also owes me labor that I did that he never paid...

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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/22/2017
Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38,326
Experience: 30 years experience representing clients.
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Thank you for using JA. I am Loren, a licensed attorney for over 30 yrs., and I am here to help.

I am a certified expert on JustAnswer since 2009, with nearly 100% in 5 star ratings. So, we should be able to work through your problem.

I appreciate your patience as I review your question. I will post my response shortly.

This is general information and no attorney client relationship is established.

The site may ask you if you wish to speak by phone for an extra charge. Many find the phone call to be the easiest and fastest way to get the information they need without posting on a public forum. I am also happy to continue online.

There may be a slight delay in my replies as I am assisting other JA customers also. I will reply to your follow up questions.

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What is your legal question, my friend?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Is there any way to get out of paying a rental contract I signed?

You mean a lease?

Why do you want to break the lease? Is the landlord in breach?

Does it contain any provision for early termination?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
a lease.
I signed it because I was pressured by my boss and was also under the assumption he would be paying it. He got into financial trouble and hasn't been paying it so now the landlord is threatening attorneys

Does the lease contain any provision for early termination?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My name was put on the lease without my consent and then I was brought into the room and my name was already on it and I was asked to sign. My boss had had previous conversations with me about being paid more eventually and even being his business partner. My credit wasn't checked or I wouldn't have been approved for the lease and now that the landlord is threatening attorneys, I want to protect myself.
I don't know if I should set up a payment agreement that applies just to me? My boss is avoiding answering questions and I am being tied to him because of the lease.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
There is nothing about early termination.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
It also doesn't say I pay half and my boss pays half, so can the landlord come after me for the whole thing?

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, your lease is binding and enforceable for the lease term and full rent stated in the contract. Therefore, without a provision in the lease providing a right to early termination or landlord breach (constituting constructive eviction), you are liable for the payment of rent and other obligations specified in the agreement until the end of the lease term.

So, you have a few options. First, you can try to negotiate a lump-sum settlement of the remaining balance on the lease.

Next, you can try to find a new tenant to either be a subtenant or assignee of your lease.

Finally, and most risky, you can just move out without a new tenant or settlement, and hope the landlord can relet the space quickly.

The last option puts you in breach of the lease and subject to damages if the landlord sues and prevails.

With regard to the first two options, if you find a new tenant or reach a settlement with the landlord, it is most important that the terms be in writing and signed by the parties so that it is enforceable in court.

I am sorry. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I do not want you incurring further liability and spinning your wheels.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
when my boss stopped paying in August, the landlord changed the locks. Can he do that without an eviction notice? I can't even use the space with my clientele to earn money to pay it...

No, the landlord may not evict you without going through the legal process. You can sue the landlord for unlawful eviction and collect money damages.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Can I do anything about the fact that the lease has me listed as an owner/partner of the company when I have no other paperwork that states that? Like, if he goes after the company am I screwed that way too?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What is the legal process for eviction? Should he have notified me AND my boss? Or is it possible he notified my boss and that counts?

If you signed as the tenant then your liability is based on that. You are not liable for company debt if you are not a part of the company.

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He would need to give you, as the tenant, notice to pay or quit. /then the landlord would need to file in court for an order of possession, Once they bet the order of possession they place it with the sheriff for execution. The process takes about a month.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
He didn't do that. How would I move forward from here? If I sue him for the evacuation, what is likely to happen?

If he evicted you illegally and you sue him then you are likely to be awarded money damages.

Sue in small claims court. Small claims court is designed to be a "user friendly", simplified process, so that you can present a claim without an attorney. Also, it moves much more quickly than regular court. You can get the necessary forms to start from the clerk of the court.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
then if he moves to sue us for not paying rent...that's a separate thing? And what kind of money damages? Would it look at how much I was making monthly kind of a thing?

It would be damages based on your actual losses. Such as the price of staying somewhere else, storing your property, etc.

You should sue him for illegal eviction before he sues you.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok. Thank you for your advice. Do we BOTH have to sue? Meaning, does my boss have to file with me? He is avoiding contact with me lately...

If you signed the lease as a tenant then you can sue on your own for the illegal eviction.

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You are very welcome.

If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page). It is the only way that I am credited by JustAnswer for answering your question.

There is no additional charge to you for rating me favorably.

A bonus is not expected, but is always appreciated.

Thank you!

Loren

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Can I ask a separate but related question? My boss, besides not paying rent, also didn't pay me for labor...Can I go after him?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Also, should I still try to negotiate a lump sum payment with the landlord or wait and don't pay anything back until the eviction in figured out?

Wait until the eviction is resolved.

With regard to the labor, sue him in small claims too.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok. Thank you. Can this whole conversation be sent to my email somehow??

I am not able to personally email you from within the JA website. You can copy it and paste it into an email to yourself or into a document which you can save to your computer. If you need further assistance you can click the Help link at the bottom of you question page or email *****@******.*** and the Customer Support department will correspond with you directly and assist you.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you.
Any other advice/tips for small claims court? What does it look like? Fill out paperwork and get a court date and just state the facts?

Yes, small claims court is pretty straightforward. The forms are self explanatory. Get them form the clerk of the court.

Good luck. I hope this was helpful.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Last thing...my boss moved all of his things out and THEN the locks were changed. Does this mean it WASN'T an illegal eviction but maybe just my boss making that 3rd choice you mentioned-moving out and hoping the landlord fills the space?

No, if the landlord changed the locks without going through the legal process to evict, then it is an illegal eviction.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Sorry I am processing all this and finding more questions. So let's say I go and get monies for losses for the illegal eviction. Then what? What do I do about the fact that I still owe him money on the lease? Does the win on the illegal eviction mean the lease is no longer valid?

He can not enforce a contract which he has breached.

Loren
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Experience: 30 years experience representing clients.
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