Real Estate Law
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Question: Who was the party that signed the written lease: the owner, the management company, or the management company on behalf of the owner?
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If the owner does not sign a lease, there is a possibly that the lease is invalid because the owner did not sign a lease. However, there could be a contract between the property manager and the owner for the management company to act on behalf of or "represent the owner in dealing with the property. Yet, this should include a type of limited power of attorney. In other words, if the management company is legally permissible to act on behalf of the owner, then the contract would be valid. If not, then a tenant would be able to argue that the written lease is invalid. We can discuss further if you would like to do so.
It is possible if the management company was not legally acting on behalf of the owner (e.g., if the management company was not acting as an agent to enter into the contract or not acting under a power of attorney). The risk is that the landlord will claim that the management company was authorized to enter the contract. So, there could be a dispute. However, a tenant can always make the claim to see if the owner is amenable without a potential lawsuit.
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