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Old 06-10-2008, 08:31 AM
 
3 posts, read 46,852 times
Reputation: 13

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My son (18) just finished his freshman year at GCSU in Georgia and he found an apartment that he was interested in renting for next year. He went to check the apartment with a friend and both kids were pressured to sign the lease on the unit. As part of the leasing process I was required to sign a parental guarantee but I didn't because I haven't seen a copy of the lease my son signed. Now things have changed and I honestly cannot afford to pay for his apartment on my own, granted my son will need to get a job to cover some of his expenses when he returns to college but he won't be making enough to cover the rent. I'm trying to work with the leasing company who are saying that if we don't pay, they will turn this to collection. I explained to the leasing manager that my son never received a copy, he had no idea what he was signing (he thought he was reserving the apartment) and that he felt pressured by the leasing manager (who no longer works for them). At this point in time I don't know what to do - I certainly cannot afford to pay for this lease and I would hate to know that this is going to be the first blemish on my son's credit. Is there anything I can do? Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:40 AM
 
269 posts, read 699,678 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by singlemominga View Post
My son (18) just finished his freshman year at GCSU in Georgia and he found an apartment that he was interested in renting for next year. He went to check the apartment with a friend and both kids were pressured to sign the lease on the unit. As part of the leasing process I was required to sign a parental guarantee but I didn't because I haven't seen a copy of the lease my son signed. Now things have changed and I honestly cannot afford to pay for his apartment on my own, granted my son will need to get a job to cover some of his expenses when he returns to college but he won't be making enough to cover the rent. I'm trying to work with the leasing company who are saying that if we don't pay, they will turn this to collection. I explained to the leasing manager that my son never received a copy, he had no idea what he was signing (he thought he was reserving the apartment) and that he felt pressured by the leasing manager (who no longer works for them). At this point in time I don't know what to do - I certainly cannot afford to pay for this lease and I would hate to know that this is going to be the first blemish on my son's credit. Is there anything I can do? Thanks!
Your only possibility of breaking the lease, as far as I can tell, is if it clearly states that it won't be considered binding unless a parent signs the guarantee.

Your son needs to learn this lesson eventually. When you sign a contract, it creates an obligation.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:24 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,128 posts, read 21,564,166 times
Reputation: 4731
Someone will have to pay. If he was legally 18 when he signed, and you didn't sign that parental guarantee, then he is fully and legally obligated to pay off the lease.

You didn't say if he did this or not, but if he forged your signature and they THINK you signed, then you will be obligated to pay it off because it's their word against yours, unless of course you'd want to take your son to court for forgery if that's what he did.

I sympathize, but he was 18 when he signed and as bad as the crime is in Atlanta, leasing agents haven't (yet) begun to stick guns up to people's heads to force them to sign agreements. They don't care about any personal issues or problems or reasons why you can't pay - you're just a number to them and trust me, they will take any legal collection (and credit reporting) action needed to collect that money.

Lesson:
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:46 PM
 
26 posts, read 119,611 times
Reputation: 23
I worked in (Leasing / Property Management) for years. Yes, he is obligated and binded by the lease - however, I suggest that you ask for the name and number of the Regional Manager overseeing the property. Ask about a "buy out" which is... a 60 day notice to vacate with a one month penalty. Some leases have this as language which would allow a person to break their lease without getting a blemish to their credit. What that means is your son is requried to pay his rent for 60 days after written notice of intent to vacate and pay an additional month as a buy out fee. (total of 3) months rent - the buyout is paid upfront at the signing of the 60 day notice. Keep in mind that your full security deposit will be returned upon moveout should the unit is without damage. Some leases offer this as I mentioned along with an addendum for military and / or the purchase of a home.

I would also suggest that you get the name and number for the Regional Manager without contacting the property you are having trouble with. I know first hand that once a manager thinks that you are going over their head they will contact the Regional "on your behalf" and you may not get the answer that you are looking for or in your favor... politics. If they are a large company go through the corporate office number and ask for the "regional who handles XYZ... property". Hopefully he/she will offer the buy out to you.

Their main focus is their occupancy rate - which is why they were aggressive in getting the lease signed. Once a unit is available they have to re-rent it, etc. The 60 day notice allows them to pre-rent the unit based on their anticipated availability 60 days out where they do not lose income and actually workes out to a win, win situation.

If all else fails then you can go to court, our company lost when a parent went to court in a very simular situation as you mentioned. In that case the resident had not accepted keys, and as a matter of fact refused to accept keys until his mother approved the unit. Once the parent found out that a lease was signed (her son was 18 as well) she contacted the property manager and was told exactly what you mentined. She immediately went to court and the judge ruled in favor of the tenat - full security deposit was returned etc.

I do have a question - for you, the property manager and the regional. How did he qualify for the apt? Normal standards are that a person has to make 3-4 times the monthly rent in order to qualify income wise. Example, if an apt is $2,000 per month for rent then the household has to make $6,000 - $8,000 per month in order to qualify - If he did not meet the income qualifications and needed a "co-signer", the co-signer would have needed to provide any and all income information just as the applicant in order to qualify - i.e. debt to income ratio, employment history and ability to pay, previous rental / home ownership etc. Did they run your credit??

You really need to speak to the Regional asap - the chain of command is as follows:

Leasing consultant
Property Manager
Regional Manager and if all else fails...
Area Vice President

Apartment rentals is a business and the lease is a binding and legal contract signed by an 18 year old true - however, if all steps were not followed correctly then there is a problem and they do not have a legal binding lease. Did he pay the security deposit and accept keys? The only reason an 18 year old would need someone to co-sign would be if he did "not qualify" on his own - if they went through with it and a manager signed a lease based on an unqualified application then a landlord / tenant judge may rule in your favor and a buy out would not even be necessary - the judge will just say to return the keys and exit all rights to the unit.

Remember if you are able to get out of it PLEASE, PLEASE return the keys to the apartment in BETTER condition then it was given to you - The security deposit is there to protect the landlord and his property. They will indeed charge you for any wear and tear, damages etc. I recommend to have it professionally cleaned with a receipt from a cleaning company, have the carpets steam cleaned and do any touch up painting as you see necessary. We are trained to walk a unit with white gloves - I in my career have always been fair to my residents, which is why I am telling you everything that I know. With a 60 day notice they will be able to turn that unit without any loss of income with no problem - be agressive and I wish you the best.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:23 PM
 
3 posts, read 46,852 times
Reputation: 13
Default Breaking a lease in GA

Thank you so much for your response and I need to clarify the following. My son and his friend went to take a look at the apartment, they both liked it and both were told that they needed to sign a lease in order to secure the apartment and they both did, not fully understanding what they were getting themselves into. Both kids are full-time students, without income of their own and somehow they both got approved on the lease on the spot.

Because my son cannot afford the rent on his own, I was requested to sign a parental guarantee, which the leasing company mailed to me after I found out that a lease had been signed. I immediately called the leasing agency and asked them questions about the apartment and I told them that this is not something I can afford and that I was not going to sign the parental guaranteed but they said it was too late, that my son had already signed a lease and that he was responsible to pay for it. My son did take money out of his savings account to pay the security deposit ($425) but he was not issued keys because his move in date was supposed to be August 1, 2008.

I notified the leasing company in May (as soon as I found out that my son had signed the lease) to inform them that I didn't approve this and that I was not going to sign the parental guarantee, well in advance of his expected move in date so that they can lease that unit. Furthermore, I drove two hours to meet face to face with the leasing manager and try to resolve this situation amicably (and to ask for a copy of the signed lease agreement - which my son didn't get at the time he signed it) and was told that if he didn't move in in August, they were going to send this to collections. I tried to explain to them, that they are wasting their time sending this to collections since my son doesn't have any money of his own and that all they were going to do is incur in this expense and damage his credit, but they are not willing to work with me, so at this point, I have decided that we will let it go to collections since I cannot pay $5,100 to break this lease. The leasing company does not have my ss# and therefore they couldn't possibly run my credit.

How do I go about finding out who is their Regional Manager? Every time I call the leasing manager, they put me on hold, hang up on me and nobody ever calls me back - that's why I ended up taking time off work to meet with them in person but that was fruitless.

I really appreciate your guidance on this situation.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:54 AM
 
26 posts, read 119,611 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by singlemominga View Post
, t

How do I go about finding out who is their Regional Manager? Every time I call the leasing manager, they put me on hold, hang up on me and nobody ever calls me back - that's why I ended up taking time off work to meet with them in person but that was fruitless.

I really appreciate your guidance on this situation.
You have really gotten the run around - You can call back and without asking for the property manager, just ask whom ever answers the phone...

1. What is the number to your corporate office and who is the regional manager for this property?

You will get the "prepared response" which is..." is there anything that I can do to help you??? Your response is...No, I just need that information for my attorney. (let her know that on numerious occasions you have called to speak to the manager and was put on hold indefinately, hung up on etc. "I need the corporate name and number along with the regional manager's name for my attorney at this point". The leasing consultants are trained to go through the chain of command which is the next step...the manager, once she/he answers present the same request for info - hopefully she will realize what liability she has placed the company in by approving a non qualified applicant. Let her know that you mean business. Do you have a website for the property? Most properties have their corporate information listed on their websites.

I wish I were the regional and received a complaint such as yours - Oh I would love to address that staff. If this is a new property manager replacing the one who signed the lease all she had to do was explain the situation to her regional and with the amount of time she had to release it would have been no problem. Even so, what happened in this situation is leasing consultants make commision on each apt that they lease. A property manager only approves the applications that the leasing agent presents to them for approval. The fraud came from the leasing consultant that was the first mistake - when the property manager gets the file it should be in its final stage only on her desk for approval. The property manager upon the recommendation of the leasing consultant reviews that file and approves it. Bottom line - he did not qualify from the beginning. Let them know you are NOT going to ruin your sons credit because an over achieving leasing consultant considered her "closing ratio and $50.00 commision first and foremost" Unexceptable.

This is why I am no longer in the business, I loved my residents - I was a regional with a porfolio of over 20 properties with over 500 units on each. I took my residents complaints as they were my own. It was nothing for me to get a call from a resident on a complaint that they had with their A/C - make an appointment with the resident and come out to the property myself "without" the property manager to know that I was coming - walk that apartment and CALL THE PROPERTY MANAGER FROM THE RESIDENTS APARTMENT!!! Questions...Why did this resident have to call me when you are the resident manager?? Unexceptable - How did she sleep in this apartment without A/C when we have a 24 hour team? I replaced staff before I replaced residents. Once I established with that property that if a resident found their way to ME it would only be because they were not serviced properly on site. Make them do their jobs and that is not just baking cookies, meeting and greeting and "selling apts". Their goal should be resident retention and a good reputation - and in this instance - PROTECTING THE COMPANY FROM LAWSUITS.

Speak to them with knowledge, confidence, and with authority and make them do their jobs in correcting this.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:04 AM
 
18 posts, read 19,607 times
Reputation: 11
Thumbs up WOW, JUST WOW! The most HELPFUL/"Above and Beyond"---MEGA KUDO'S

@tania0521 YOU ARE AWESOME! with both information and information sharing MEGA Karama our way.

I know I jumped into an INSANELY OLD thread. I hope you're "still around". I have a question.

Rental Property Law O.C.G.A. 44-7-1 ------ O.C.G.A. 44-7-81

I don't see much about the Landlords responsibility for security. Yeah yeah, I know you sign off on the "Gate is Controlled Access/not security/etc.etc.

Would you happen to know the statute of limitations on Suing for lack of Adequate Security?
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:14 AM
 
4,351 posts, read 3,875,186 times
Reputation: 2253
I don't believe landlords have any responsibility for security.

Not outside something completely egregious, like if your front door lock breaks and they fail to fix it.

Landlords are not required to provide security of any kind.
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