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Old 12-30-2010, 11:50 AM
 
6 posts, read 114,438 times
Reputation: 17

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I need some legal advice regarding my tenant rights (my first time renting) in Tennessee cause I think my apartment is trying to force me into staying here! I signed a 9 month lease back on March 4th 2010 which ended Dec 3rd and am still here due to not realizing that it did ended then otherwise I would have done this properly, I also never got a copy of the lease but I was told that orally (I know that does not hold up in court) 60 (which I didn't remember) how many ever days from the lease expiring I would receive a notice to renew or any other options so...I was waiting on the notice these past few months. I received the 60 day notice/lease renewal/rental increase on my door on Dec 7th saying my lease would be ending on Feb 3rd 2011 & I needed to give proper notice to vacate before leaving which is 60 days for them, rent was increasing regardless of me signing 6, 12, or month-to-month, & if I didn't sign the renewal offer my renewal rates could increase 3% or more by 1/6 so no, I didn't sign anything. I tried to get another place but they refuse to send out my rental history to the new apts because I haven't signed another lease nor gave the 60 day notice because obviously it's too late & I'm still trying to figure out the best way to resolve this issue. I went and got a copy of the lease yesterday cause she kept tellin me my lease ended in Feb when I distinctly remember signing a 9 month lease so she looked on her comp told me the computer is showing the lease expiring on February 3rd 2011 but the lease that I got a copy of expired Dec 3rd...anyway..I can't afford to stay here anymore but am I legally bound to the contract if it says Lease contract will automatically renew month-to-month UNLESS either party gives at least 60 days written notice of termination or intent to move out as required by paragraph 37. Technically, I got the notice after my lease was over & I had already paid for this month but I paid my regular rent instead of the month-to-month because I was unaware that the lease ended on Dec 3rd and apparently, due to their own clerical error ..they didn't know either. I really don't know what to do cause the leasing agent is not being cooperative nor understanding & is basically saying oh well, you still have to stay even though they were at fault and weren't acting in good faith. She said if you knew it was ending then why didn't you give a notice? I was waiting on that letter which would have came if they had the correct date entered! I refuse to stay here & plan to be out by Jan 3rd since this month was already paid. I just need to know what could happen..I'll go to court or pay the early move-out for not giving proper notice but they will not force me into staying here. Am I just SOL in this situation? I know it was my duty to review and abide by the binding agreement I signed & I would've if they gave me a copy but I do know this for future reference but I believed that they wouldn't have did me dirty but obviously, I was very wrong. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:35 PM
 
4,786 posts, read 6,297,931 times
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I'm sorry, but your post is way too hard to read. Please break it up into readable paragraphs so it's easier to follow.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Illinois
8,524 posts, read 3,952,523 times
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Plus, how could you NOT know your lease ended?

Quote:
I signed a 9 month lease back on March 4th 2010 which ended Dec 3rd and am still here due to not realizing that it did ended then otherwise I would have done this properly,
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,723 posts, read 6,243,616 times
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Of course they cannot force you to stay, however they can force you to abide by their policy.

No offense intended, but I am constantly amazed at folks who, after 6 or 9 or 12 months, have some dispute w/ their landlord and say "I never got a copy of the lease". If for some reason they just forgot to hand it to you, why did you not ask for it at the time you moved in? There are some pretty stringent rules in real estate regarding immediately giving a person a copy of anything they signed.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:29 PM
 
6 posts, read 114,438 times
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Nan - I didn't know cause I thought it ended at the end of this month and didn't get the lease copy.

Kim - Sorry...I was/am typing from my phone so I didn't edit it as I should have so now I'm unable to due to the 90min time limit.

Kona - I was told that I'd be mailed a copy but I never got it and due to my own error of not demanding it is why I never got it.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:00 PM
 
14,199 posts, read 26,341,715 times
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You really need to contact a lawyer for legal advice because it is not available here.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Huntington
887 posts, read 1,859,747 times
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Actually, if your lease does indeed end on February 3, 2011, as their computer says, you were legally entitled to a written move-out letter from your landlord advising you of your lease-end date, and it should have arrived around 3 days before the second to last rent payment. They failed to provide you with this. The onus for that one is on the landlord. Their legal mistake - use that for negotiations. That move-out letter is mandatory from a legal perspective, and just may be the legal ticket you need to get out of this jam.

And their 60-day verbal notice is not the same thing as a written move-out letter and won't hold up legally in court (if it comes to that, but really, landlords don't want to be bothered with court and would just rather negotiate than go through all the legal expenses, time, etc., so I don't think court will come into play here at all.)

As far as the 60-day notice your lease requires you to give, you will be held responsible for that. That's not an illegal clause, and that's what you agreed to when you signed their lease, whether or not the end date is right or wrong. You missed by 27 days assuming the Feb. 3 date is correct. And you missed it by a lot more than that if you stick by your Dec. 3 end date. So at this point I think you ought to agree with their Feb. 3 lease-end date.

So, both you and the landlord messed up legally. Them for not sending you the move-out letter, and you for the lack of 60-day notice. Use that lack of a move-out letter to counteract your lack of 60-day notice in your negotiations with them.

Write them a coherent, to-the-point letter stating their mistake of not sending you a move-out letter, and see if you can negotiate in your letter the 60-day notice that you were supposed to give down to 30 days. Use Feb. 3, 2011, as your end date. Don't mention Dec. 3, 2010, in your letter at all. And tell them you know you're legally entitled to a move-out letter and will bring in legal help over that if need be. That ought to put some pressure on them to let you give just 30 days notice. The last thing they want is for you to bring in a lawyer about their missing move-out letter.

If you leave the end date of Feb. 3 and move out then and not mention Dec. 3, and can get them to change the 60 days notice to 30 days, then you can leave without any penalties, but you will have to stay there until Feb. 3. At least you won't be legally forced into signing another lease with a rent increase. And they will have to send your rental history to new places.

Next time you sign a contract (that's what a lease is), make sure you read it first, and ask any questions about it even if it takes 4 hours. Literally. And you're entitled before you sign on the dotted line to make any changes or additions to it that everyone agrees to.

The reason the landlord wants the 60 days notice is so they know whether or not you're staying in the apartment for another lease term. If you give your notice that you're moving, then they have a heads up and can get the apartment ready for the next tenant without wasting rental time. And if you're staying, then they don't have to look for another tenant.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:17 AM
 
6 posts, read 114,438 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks for your help, Andrea.

The lease said move out date was actually Dec 3rd...the notice they sent me said February 3rd was the last day on the lease & that was my 60 day notice to give them one. They have it on the computer showing my lease was 11 months but I actually signed a 9 month contract...I don't want to stay even 30 more days because I just can't financially...only planning to be here 9 months though it was wrong on my part as well.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:31 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,482 posts, read 27,048,543 times
Reputation: 23041
The lease which you are in possession of expired on December 3rd at which time, since it wasn't renewed, it became a month to month under the same terms and conditions. Those terms and conditions require that you give 60 days notice. You can move out by January 3rd but still have to honor the terms of the lease and pay rent accordingly.

Unless your lease specifically states that your rent will increase if it goes month to month then the LL cannot arbitrarily increase it as a change in terms must be agreed to by both parties.

What your current lease says is what is legally binding so you need to give 60 days notice now and either stay there and move out by March 3rd or leave and pay two months rent as penalty for insufficient notice. It's really that simple. Good luck!
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:49 AM
 
4,786 posts, read 6,297,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noiesha View Post
Nan - I didn't know cause I thought it ended at the end of this month and didn't get the lease copy.

Kim - Sorry...I was/am typing from my phone so I didn't edit it as I should have so now I'm unable to due to the 90min time limit.

Kona - I was told that I'd be mailed a copy but I never got it and due to my own error of not demanding it is why I never got it.

lol thanks for understanding, I was just getting a headache trying to read it.

I have to second questions already asked. But, you were there, you did sign the lease, you did agree to all the terms of the lease, it's up to you to remember what, when and where you signed.
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