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Old 07-13-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Florida
12 posts, read 61,609 times
Reputation: 16
Default Landlord won't give signed lease

My husband got us a house and signed the lease with the property manager, took a copy with him for me to sign. We moved in, two weeks later I realized I never sent the lease with my signature and that landlord never signed the lease either.

I signed the lease and sent it to the property manager asking for a copy signed by the landlord. No reply.Property manager is not responding to calls or mail. It's been three months.

I am worried because I feel the landlord doesn't like us already. There was an issue with leaking water pipes, rusted through tub, molded wall and unusable toilet when we moved in, and she spent a lot trying to fix it. Told us she won't make any more repairs or else.

Making all repairs ourselves now. The rental is tearing apart and something rots in there every week, the property manager said no repairs were made for at least 3 years with previous tenant.

I just don't know how to tread now should something major break. The house is not new and built cheaply. I am scared she will just tell us to go if we ever ask for a really needed repair or just because.

What would you do in this situation? Do you think she could successfully manipulate us giving the fact we have no signed lease, but she does have lease WE signed, or is this my imagination?

Last edited by SEMLOR; 07-13-2011 at 02:29 PM..
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:53 PM
 
3,764 posts, read 4,439,270 times
Reputation: 1809
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMLOR View Post
My husband got us a house and signed the lease with the property manager, took a copy with him for me to sign. We moved in, two weeks later I realized I never sent the lease with my signature and that landlord never signed the lease either.

I signed the lease and sent it to the property manager asking for a copy signed by the landlord. No reply.Property manager is not responding to calls or mail. It's been three months.

I am worried because I feel the landlord doesn't like us already. There was an issue with leaking water pipes, rusted through tub, molded wall and unusable toilet when we moved in, and she spent a lot trying to fix it. Told us she won't make any more repairs or else.

Making all repairs ourselves now. The rental is tearing apart and something rots in there every week, the property manager said no repairs were made for at least 3 years with previous tenant.

I just don't know how to tread now should something major break. The house is not new and built cheaply. I am scared she will just tell us to go if we ever ask for a really needed repair or just because.

What would you do in this situation? Do you think she could successfully manipulate us giving the fact we have no signed lease, but she does have lease WE signed, or is this my imagination?
The lease could be a problem depending on what you are intending to do next. If you want to stay take action to force the landlord to make repairs by calling health department, zoning etc, this could come back to bite you if she gives you notice to leave.
If you intention is to leave and break the lease, the fact that you don't have a copy is not relevant as long as you remember what was said in it. Since the landlord presented this to you there isn't likely much to protect you in it. You would proceed exactly as if you had a copy of the lease. Complain in writing. Call the appropriate authorities, write more letters etc(whatever your state says you must do) and then leave.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:36 AM
 
2,062 posts, read 2,982,843 times
Reputation: 2656
Cool ...

Send them a registered letter requesting a copy of your signed lease. If that doesn't work go to their office and don't leave until you have one.
Koale
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
21,636 posts, read 25,212,126 times
Reputation: 22321
I can tell you from first hand experience in court that unless a lease is signed by both parties it's not a valid contractual agreement. At this point you're on a month to month agreement. Google "(your state) landlord tenant laws" to see where you stand. If some of the repair issues fall under habitability laws you can find via your state laws what recourse you have. Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
2,676 posts, read 5,951,635 times
Reputation: 2248
Walk into the office and ask for a copy of the fully executed lease. Don't leave till you have it. How long is this lease? Hopefully only a few months left on your term at which point I would be house hunting again real soon.

My biggest surprise is that they let you move in without the paperwork being complete! Is this a realty firm or just a private individual? Next time be sure that you have all the proper documents signed and copies in hand before you even move in.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Over There
402 posts, read 619,525 times
Reputation: 731
Cool Keep Records, take pictures, & move ASAP

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMLOR View Post
. . .

I signed the lease and sent it to the property manager asking for a copy signed by the landlord. No reply.Property manager is not responding to calls or mail. It's been three months.

. . . Told us she won't make any more repairs or else.

Making all repairs ourselves now. The rental is tearing apart and something rots in there every week, the property manager said no repairs were made for at least 3 years with previous tenant. . . .

What would you do in this situation? Do you think she could successfully manipulate us giving the fact we have no signed lease, but she does have lease WE signed, or is this my imagination?


I would keep diligent records and move ASAP.

1) You are legally entitled to a copy of the lease. If you can physically visit the property manager, go there and ask him/her for a photo copy. As others have said, wait while it is copied.

Since she was so unwilling to give you a copy of the lease, make sure that you keep a folder of documents and notes, including: dates that you signed and delivered the lease, dates that you requested the lease, dates that you requested repairs, receipts & dates for repairs that you made (the cost should be deducted from your rent), and copies of ALL cancelled checks or money orders for your deposit and all rent payments.

2) YOU are NOT required to make repairs. If any needed repairs pose a HEALTH or SAFTEY threat, she MUST repair them to keep the rental HABITABLE. Contact the Health and Safety Department IF you have any issues. The fact that she already told you that she will not make any future repairs is BAD. I would be finding a new place to rent. I hope that your lease is short.

3) Do you have a copy of your move-in inspection? If not, take pictures, date, and document EVERYTHING, including EVERY repair (before and after pictures).

4) As far as her manipulating you--anything is possible. When you give your required notice, ask her what she requires as far as carpet cleaning, filling in nail holes, etc. Keep a copy of what she says and follow it to the letter. Clean EVERYTHING and keep copies of receipts if you use any professional services such as a carpet cleaner.

5) When the rental is COMPLETELY empty, videotape or DILIGENTLY photograph (digitally) EVERYTHING.

6) Leave ON TIME and with all rent and late fees current. The last month's rent CANNOT be taken out of the deposit--by a tenant.

7) Ask to be present for the final inspection and bring a copy of your move-in inspection with you.

8) Read your lease, check your state laws, AND ask your LL when she will return your deposit. Most states allow 2 weeks to 30 days.

9) Give the LL & the PM your forwarding address and phone number TWICE--IN WRITING. Hand her or the property manager one AND email one to BOTH her and the property manager.

I hope that everything goes smoothly for you, but you SHOULD keep all records--just in case.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Florida
12 posts, read 61,609 times
Reputation: 16
This is the OP. I did get the copy of the lease finally. Regarding repairs - right now it is stuff that does not make the place uninhabitable, like leaking toilet (have two), rotten bathtub (have separate shower), mold in the carpet (I bleached it), fallen mailbox post (we fixed), etc. Things that require a little time, money and general TLC. I don't think the lease will be renewed, and frankly, I feel the landlord made an enemy out of us for requesting legitimate repairs. We saved her a lot of money in the future by insisting on them, but instead of being grateful she now hates us for it. Should we just be quiet and let the leaking pipes alone, she would have a flood and mold infestation in her bedroom in a month or two. It's a no win situation because she keeps comparing us to previous tenants that never asked for repair and let the place degenerate.
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:38 PM
 
614 posts, read 1,266,056 times
Reputation: 633
I have a follow up question about repairs done by the tenant. Is this a liability issue for the tenant? Especially if the LL has not agreed to the tenant making a repair?

I've made 3 minor repairs in my place: Replaced the gap valve on the washing machine, replaced a broken kitchen sink faucet and replaced a cracked toilet seat. All items broke after I moved in. In all cases I had a conversation with my landlord and offered to make the repair myself if he wanted me to (since they were tasks I was capable of) and he agreed in these cases. He paid for the parts and I provided free labor and beer.

I would be afraid to do repairs that were not approved in advance by him, because the LL might have grounds to come back and sue me for "damages."

I'm a little nervous for you to read that you "bleached" the carpet. Now you may be talking about using an extractor chemical that is designed to work with the type of dyes that are in the carpeting in your rental, but I'm reading bleach and shuttering. If you really did use chlorinated bleach, you probably have done more damage than good. Bleach is a color remover that works through oxidation. It removes the color from stains, but guess what? It also removes the dyes from carpets. The extent of this depends on the type of bleach and the type of carpet. Also, bleached fibers can discolor and become yellow when exposed to sunlight.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Florida
12 posts, read 61,609 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWayISeeThings View Post
I have a follow up question about repairs done by the tenant. Is this a liability issue for the tenant? Especially if the LL has not agreed to the tenant making a repair?

I've made 3 minor repairs in my place: Replaced the gap valve on the washing machine, replaced a broken kitchen sink faucet and replaced a cracked toilet seat. All items broke after I moved in. In all cases I had a conversation with my landlord and offered to make the repair myself if he wanted me to (since they were tasks I was capable of) and he agreed in these cases. He paid for the parts and I provided free labor and beer.

I would be afraid to do repairs that were not approved in advance by him, because the LL might have grounds to come back and sue me for "damages."

I'm a little nervous for you to read that you "bleached" the carpet. Now you may be talking about using an extractor chemical that is designed to work with the type of dyes that are in the carpeting in your rental, but I'm reading bleach and shuttering. If you really did use chlorinated bleach, you probably have done more damage than good. Bleach is a color remover that works through oxidation. It removes the color from stains, but guess what? It also removes the dyes from carpets. The extent of this depends on the type of bleach and the type of carpet. Also, bleached fibers can discolor and become yellow when exposed to sunlight.
First, regarding the bleach. I used it on 100% olefin carpet - safe for colors and effective to remove smells. However, even bleach will not get rid of the brownish spot after dirt is gone away. This is just the known bad characteristic of olefin - that it will never be cleaned after it gets dirty. The high content of oil will keep attracting the dirt no matter how many times you clean - whether professionally or just with houshold bleach. It will forever be brownish. So far, killing the mildew was important, and the color is still normal.
Secondly, I think you will not be liable for any damages if you have a friendly decent landlord. I know once I had approval from landlord to repaint the rental with approved colors, he paid for supplies, I painted. Well, they loved the finished work. But when we moved out, they didn't want to return the deposit and lied that the next tenant didn't like the colors and they had to repaint. (I know they lied because they didn't even rent the place back then, it is still empty, by the way). Their approval didn't mean anything, they claimed. So even if you get it in writing, they will always find the way to blame you, even if no damages were done, if they feel like it. Be very careful and document everything with pictures and letters. Good luck.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,370 posts, read 2,540,695 times
Reputation: 2977
I have had tenants ask if they could paint the walls in someting other than white.
When I agree to it, it is put in writing, and on the condition that before vacating, they MUST repaint to the original white that was on the walls when they moved in.
Both tenant and myself sign the amendment to the original rental agreement, and this becomes a part of the rental agreement.
That way should they not repaint, I am within my rights to withold a portion of the security deposit to repaint.
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