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Wrong end date on lease

Discussion in 'Rental Agreements & Subleases' started by Langes, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Langes

    Langes Law Topic Starter New Member

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    We have been living in our apartment for several years now and have previously used a 12 month lease and then a 6 month lease. At the end of each lease would resign a new lease for the next agreed upon period. Recently the property was sold to a new owner.

    Upon introduction the new owner informed us that our lease was invalid because the last time that it was signed we apparently forgot to change the end year date on the lease. So the lease states the following:

    "The premises are rented for a term of 12 months commencing the 1st day of May 2015 and terminating the 1st day of May 2015" (instead of 2016).

    The new owners are therefore using this as justification in attempting to raise our rent by nearly 40% even though we have 9 months remaining on our lease.

    I understand that even if we were under a month to month contract, which to our understanding we are not and have not ever been, we would be protected from such an increase in rent due to SMC 7.24 which prohibits rent being increased by more than 10% in a 12 month period without 60 days notice. The notice we were provided amounted to about 32 days.

    The other key element that we have possession of is documented communications between us and the previous landlord detailing our request to extend our normal year long lease to a 2 year long lease and then agreeing to go with a 12 month lease. This conversation is in the form of text messages that are saved.

    According to the new owners they are claiming that the previous landlord told them we were renting month to month because the contract was invalid. If this is the case we believe he was most likely using this as an added incentive while selling the property, most likely saying "You can raise the rent on them because they aren't under any lease and it will cover the extra expense of the property."

    We have not yet discussed this issue with them at length, they have thus far just provided us with the documentation and their intent to raise the rent along with their claims that the previous lease was invalidated by the incorrect dates.

    What would your suggestions be for our next course of action? The new land lord is stopping by tonight to demand that we sign the new lease or begin moving out and be moved out by August 31st.

    As it sits now we are intending to have a frank discussion with them before attempting any legal action in the hopes that they will be reasonable.

    Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated!

    Thank you.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suggest you discuss this matter with YOUR attorney before discussing it with the new landlord.

    You won't change the landlord's mind, and yours won't be changed, either.

    Your way out of this dilemma will take you through the court system.

    Your lawyer will have to subpoena your former landlord and question him under oath about the intent of the lease.

    Don't let me spoil the show, I'll stop now and refer you to your attorney who will see you safely along your legal way.

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