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Old 01-14-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
43 posts, read 41,236 times
Reputation: 30
Default Is there a lease without a signed lease agreement?

I agreed to rent my home to a family several months ago. I was primarily done in an environment of trust, although a lease was drafted. They have been late (I did not charge a late fee), and they have decided on their own that they didn't need to pay one month. When I explained that it wasn't a valid reason, they relented and paid (again, no late fee). Now they are doing it again, and say they will leave - date undetermined.

I noticed that I never countersigned the lease. Based on that, could it be assumed that an enforceable lease does not exist? Further, could I kick them out immediately, avoiding tenant protections?

I am a very reasonable person, but I hate feeling that I am being taken advantage of. They agreed to the lease, and in my mind they are stealing right now. I'd love to change the locks tomorrow and tell them that for two weeks rent (the amount they are currently behind), they can access the home for two days to move out.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,350 posts, read 10,057,078 times
Reputation: 2187
You have a lease. Take your losses and file for eviction. Changing the locks and holding thier things hostage is illegal and will get you into more trouble than it is worth.
If your going to be a landlord, learn the rules of the state and local county and abide by them.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:12 PM
 
3,764 posts, read 4,439,270 times
Reputation: 1809
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkessack View Post
I agreed to rent my home to a family several months ago. I was primarily done in an environment of trust, although a lease was drafted. They have been late (I did not charge a late fee), and they have decided on their own that they didn't need to pay one month. When I explained that it wasn't a valid reason, they relented and paid (again, no late fee). Now they are doing it again, and say they will leave - date undetermined.

I noticed that I never countersigned the lease. Based on that, could it be assumed that an enforceable lease does not exist? Further, could I kick them out immediately, avoiding tenant protections?

I am a very reasonable person, but I hate feeling that I am being taken advantage of. They agreed to the lease, and in my mind they are stealing right now. I'd love to change the locks tomorrow and tell them that for two weeks rent (the amount they are currently behind), they can access the home for two days to move out.

Thoughts?
Even if that paper with your name on it didn't exist at all, by living there and establish residence it is illegal for you to lock them out or "illegally evict them". Written lease isn't necessary to establish tenancy.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
43 posts, read 41,236 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneSA View Post
You have a lease. Take your losses and file for eviction. Changing the locks and holding thier things hostage is illegal and will get you into more trouble than it is worth.
If your going to be a landlord, learn the rules of the state and local county and abide by them.
Agreed, and lesson learned. They were actually planning on buying the home and needed six months to get approved. I never looked into the whole role of a landlord, as it was never the primary intent. Now that they are not moving forward, I simply want to minimize my losses and remove them from the home as quickly as possible.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,676 posts, read 5,951,635 times
Reputation: 2248
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkessack View Post
Agreed, and lesson learned. They were actually planning on buying the home and needed six months to get approved. I never looked into the whole role of a landlord, as it was never the primary intent. Now that they are not moving forward, I simply want to minimize my losses and remove them from the home as quickly as possible.
Okay, now. Don't ever fall for that story again! 6 months to get approved for what? Did you see a pre-qual letter or anything from a lender showing that they were working towards this goal? If people want to buy a home, they go through all the procedures in order to get a mortgage. They don't talk someone into buying into their pipe dream while they take advantage of that person. Can you see any major RE entity (bank, lender, escrow office) saying "oh sure, you can live there for a few months until you get your ducks in a row. No problem!! then when you have all these ducks lined up, let us know!

On a good Lease/Option agreement, you have a regular Lease to cover the rental part of the deal. For the "Option" part you have a hefty downpayment such as $10,000 or $20,000 from the "buyer" which is FORFEITED if they do not successfully exercise their option and have proper financing in place by the end of the option agreement.

File a regular eviction according to the laws of your jurisdiction which I imagine, should start out with a Pay or Quit Notice duly served and enforced. Don't give them an extra day - meet your deadlines.

Business is business. "trust" is backed up with $$ and paperwork.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:18 AM
 
Location: The not so Wild West
894 posts, read 1,556,213 times
Reputation: 1206
OK, first of all Las Vegas is the rental scam capitol of the country. Secondly never, ever let anyone into a rental until they have A) filled out an application with ALL their personal data 1) SIGNED a Lease or rental agreement 2) paid all the rent, security, etc 3) transferred utilities with proof and 4) you have photos of the condition of the property. Then you give them the keys.

In LV if you try to do a lock out you will end up in the "Lock Up." You will have to file an unlawful detainer action, it will take quite some time as in 30-60 days to a put out. If you have done some kind of lease option you may actually have to foreclose. Lease options and contract for deeds are bad deals for owners in most cases, other than for mobile homes.

Fortunately you apparently have a lease that they signed. With that you can sign at any time and back date it. Meanwhile you need to give them a 3 day notice and follow the rest of the NV procedure.

I have a rental property in NV but I've never had to do an eviction there so I can't be of more help. Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:36 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
21,639 posts, read 25,212,126 times
Reputation: 22329
A lease is not legal unless all the named parties sign it. What you actually have is a month to month agreement and where eviction is concerned should follow your state laws accordingly.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,238 posts, read 26,298,625 times
Reputation: 10565
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm2008 View Post
Even if that paper with your name on it didn't exist at all, by living there and establish residence it is illegal for you to lock them out or "illegally evict them". Written lease isn't necessary to establish tenancy.
Homeless "squatters" can be kicked out of anywhere--even if they've established "residency".
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
21,639 posts, read 25,212,126 times
Reputation: 22329
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
Homeless "squatters" can be kicked out of anywhere--even if they've established "residency".
The OP isn't dealing with homeless squatters but with tenants who have been paying rent.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:18 PM
 
3,764 posts, read 4,439,270 times
Reputation: 1809
Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
Homeless "squatters" can be kicked out of anywhere--even if they've established "residency".
What relevance is this "point" to the situation posted. The people in the OP's house/building are not homeless and not squatters. They are tenants. So what exactly is your point?
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