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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37328
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Our son is starting his third year at college and decided to

Customer Question

Our son is starting his third year at college and decided to look into off campus housing. He came home over Easter break and told us he was looking at 2 different places, both had the same real estate agency and would need us to be cosigners. He also stated that because his income was less than half of the rent for either apartment, this was the first step for them to discuss renting one of the apartments. He claimed that he did not know what the monthly rent would be, did not know which place he was going to pick yet, and did not have a lease signed. The paper that he had for us to sign was completely blank. It didn't have anything filled out such as who the landlord was, tenants name, even where the property was so we believed him and signed the paper on March 26 with the understanding that before he signed we would have the opportunity to look over the lease and make sure everything was acceptable before he signed anything.
It is now 2 months later and we just learned that he did in fact have a lease agreement which he signed with his girlfriend on March 21, almost a week before he brought home a blank paper for us to sign. I need to know what, if anything we can do to protect ourselves. Are we responsible should our son not make his payments considering we were lied to and the paperwork was not properly filled out by the landlord? Do we have any legal rights or options in this matter at all?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question..When you say "blank piece of paper" do you mean that you signed a plain white piece of paper with your handwritten names, but no other words at all on the paper?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, the paper that we signed was what I believe to be a standard guarantor form only along the top where it stated Landlord, Tenant, and Lease Premises there was a blank line next to each category. None of that was filled in until after my husband and I signed the paperwork and it was turned in. It also was not signed in front of a notary or any other witnesses because we believed our son when he said it was just to continue discussing possible apartments and not an actual lease.I attached the copy of the lease as it was sent to us from the realtor when we found out there was an actual lease signed if that helps. On the first page of the document, under Guaranty, the information was not filled in. The page was printed, but all the lines were blank and someone filled the Landlord, Tenant, and Lease Premises information at a later date without our knowledge.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then I am afraid that you basically agreed to blanket co-sign whatever property that son eventually decided to rent.. When you sign a blank guarantor form, you are agreeing to be liable in the event of a default for whatever property the is eventually rented by son. If it had been filled in, you would have been limited to only that particular dwelling listed on the document. But if it is blank and you sign, it clearly states that you are agreeing to be bound "jointly and severally" with everyone else who signs it for any payments that come due..Why he lied to you about it, I can't say, but he did. However, as long as they don't breach the lease, then there are no negative consequences to you other than any conflict with son over his actions in being deceitful to you..As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years.....thanksBarrister

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