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Residential Lease Questions

Residential leases are contracts drawn up between a landlord and tenant. The lease generally includes all rules, regulations and the terms of living arrangement set up by the landlord. In order to avoid issues with the landlord, it is important that the tenant follow all of the rules applied in the lease. From when the rent is due to who is responsible for the maintenance of the rental property will be listed in the lease. Once both parties have signed the lease, it becomes a binding contract between the parties. To learn more about residential leases, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by Experts.

My husband and I have a residential lease contract for 3 years with the option to buy and we are getting a divorce. Can he sell the house without his agreement and make money on it?

It appears that the agreement that you currently have would permit your husband or yourself an option to buy the home. So technically, if you could find someone to buy the home, you could take the buy option, turn around and sell the home to the buyer for a profit. However, this typically only works in a ideal situation. In order for you or your husband to sell the home in a legal manner, you would have to be real estate brokers. The reason for this is that the assignment of the option to purchase is the same as acting as a real estate agent without a license.

In theory, if the authorities were unaware of the transaction, your husband could sell the property and earn a profit. If you remain on the contract, any property or profit would be considered marital property and you would have a right to it unless you choose to give it up. However, if you don't pay a portion of the lease, your husband could argue that you chose not to take part in the venture, therefore you shouldn't gain a portion of the profits. The chance that the court would agree with your husband's argument is very possible.

My granddaughter has a residential lease as a tenant in Arizona. The lease is up in December but since she lost her job and cannot pay the rent. She has been ordered to court on Tuesday. What will happen?

If your granddaughter cannot afford the rent, she may have to pay the landlord the unpaid rent that is due. The landlord is required to try and find a new tenant to move into the apartment and mitigate damages. Because your granddaughter cannot make the rent payments, the landlord may ask her to vacate the apartment. If your granddaughter doesn't move out, the landlord could then begin the eviction process. To avoid further rent costs, your granddaughter could try to find someone to sublet the apartment. This would at least make the rent payments and keep the rental balance from growing.

I want to make a residential lease agreement in NY. Will the landlord be able to break the lease in case he goes bankruptcy, or if the mortgage bank sales his house? How do I prevent it with writing it into the contract?

In 2009, the "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" was passed. The Act protects tenants who have a lease, allowing the tenant until the end of a lease before they have to move. The month to month renter is allowed 90 days notice before they have to move. However, there is an exception for the new buyer who wishes to live in the newly purchased home. The new buyer who wants to live in the new residence may give a person who has a leave a 90 day notice to move. As for bankruptcy, the same federal act that controls foreclosure also protects a tenant through bankruptcy.

I have a California residential lease question. If all parties listed on the lease do not sign. Is this a valid agreement?

Contract doctrine would apply to a lease since a lease and a contract are basically the same. If the tenant signs the lease, it becomes a binding contract. If the tenant doesn't sign the lease, it could be possible that the lease wouldn't be binding to the tenant. The Uniform Commercial Code states there are five things that make a binding contract. The list provided is according to the UCC which states:

1) Identity of the parties;
2) The subject matter;
3) Terms and conditions;
4) Consideration (how much is being paid); and
5) Signed by the party to be charged.

So basically, what this tells you is, if you sign a lease, the lease is considered valid. If you don't sign a lease, the lease may be considered not a binding contract.

The majority of people who rent today have residential leases. It is important that the renter understands its lease as well as understands how the lease can protect them. A residential lease is basically a contract that states the rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant. If you are faced with a landlord/tenant dispute over a residential lease or just have questions regarding your lease, you should ask an Expert for assistance.
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