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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102144
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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We moved into a different apartment in the same complex in

Customer Question

We moved into a different apartment in the same complex in Dec. 2014. The complex was bought by a new company and I was given a new lease agreement. I never paid much attention to the lease until today when I was trying to find out the policy for moving out before my lease was up. None of the paper work is signed by us or the management who was there at the time we renewed. Because there are no signatures on any of the paperwork are we able to get out of our lease with notice without paying the remainder of the contract?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; (B) If you receive a phone call offer while we chat, know that this is an automated test feature the site is running. Due to possible ethical issues, the site allows experts not participate in phone calls and I normally decline them. Unless the phone call offer you receive literally states "THIS OFFER IS FROM ELY" (which means I personally initiated it), please do not entertain any such offer; and (C) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am very sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me what state this is in?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am in Austin, Texas
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Okay, so there are TWO leases, then? One by the old company, and one by the new, right?
And if so, the one by the old company - would it have expired by now? If not, when does it expire?
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
You have not replied to my information request, and I do have to log off soon, so I am going to provide an answer based on what information I do have.
A contract requires that it should be signed by all parties, or AT THE VERY LEAST, by the party being charged.
Because the new contract was not signed, a STRONG ARGUMENT can be made that no written contract was actually in place, meaning that second lease on the second property was actually a month to month verbal lease.
However, the company is likely to argue the opposite, stating that even though the lease was not signed, there was a verbal contract for these months and try to show emails and other proof as "parts" of the contract. They will no doubt try to keep the deposit and/or bill otherwise, falling back on the lease to justify this.
IF SO, then the onus is on the tenant (or, former tenant) to file suit in small claims court (Justice of the Peace), arguing that there was not written lease and simply a month to month verbal lease. Then, it would be up to the Court to decide.
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