U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-30-2006, 12:00 PM
 
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 8,059,513 times
Reputation: 2312

Advertisements

I am in a situation in which I have a 2 year lease that I had signed in May. Today I just got word that they made a "mistake" when they created my lease. An utility that on the lease the landlord is supposed to pay, they are now saying "whoops" and that it is my responsibilty. Can they change a lease like that? Someone is saying "no, it's binding", and then someone else is saying yes, all they have to do now is create an amendement and make me sign it. Couldn't they then just change anything and everything in the lease, creating all kinds of different amendements? How is this possible?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-30-2006, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
24,158 posts, read 24,584,616 times
Reputation: 31444
The word is "Attorney"..............!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 12:46 PM
 
1,607 posts, read 9,334,493 times
Reputation: 963
I'd say no, the original lease is binding. Of course if they create an amendment and you sign it then you are agreeing to the new term which replaces the old. Don't sign it....
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 12:50 PM
 
39 posts, read 27,131 times
Reputation: 3
Quote:
"Couldn't they then just change anything and everything in the lease, creating all kinds of different amendements? How is this possible?"
You've answered your own question, largely, when you say "all they have to do now is create an amendement and make me sign it." If they could do it unilaterally, they wouldn't need you to agree to it! What they are proposing is a lease AMENDMENT. And no, they can't "force" you to do it, but you may choose to do it anyway to preserve your relationship with them. Here's a few important things to reflect on:

1) As noted above, it is likely they can't "force" you to do it without your concurrence. An exception would be if it was clearly an error, and one you should have recognized. For example, let's say you agreed to rent the place for $1,200.00 a month, and that was the going market rent at the time. But let's say whoever drafted the lease made a typo and put the decimal point in the wrong place, so it read $120.00 a month. In that case, even without your "agreement" in writing, your landlord could go to landlord-tenant court (or whatever the FL equivalent is) and argue that i) you agreed to the $1,200 price and that was the price in all your discussions, ii) $120 was simply a typo and any reasonable person would know it's a typo b/c $120 is SO FAR away from the market rent that there is NO WAY you could credibly argue you expected to get it for $120.
2) The flip side of this coin is that landlord-tenant courts tend to be biased in favor of the "little guy" (you), rather than the bigger, wealthier lessor who had more access to legal advice and who drafted the lease in the first place!
3) Given the first two points above, much will depend on the FACTS involved. The facts are important: WAS THIS an oversight, or are they trying to "pull a fast one"? Only you (and they) will know, in your heart, whether you agreed to this and it was simply an oversight that it was left out of the lease, or whether they are trying to "change the deal" after you agreed to it. Another factor to consider is how many months went by before they notified you of this error. If it happened after the first month, it may be that they are correct that it was an error. But if three months went by before they reached out to you, it will seem to a judge that they were willing to live with the deal for several months, and THEN decided they wanted more money from you! (My guess is this is the case).

So, considering all of the above, you need to determine whether this is a small and legitimate cost that really SHOULD have been part of the lease (and perhaps that you agreed to), or whether it is a very significant expense that you would have remembered had you agreed to it (i.e., they are trying to ***** you).

If you reach the conclusion that you are being wronged, assert your rights! Tell them "that wasn't part of the deal, you are trying to change what we agreed to." They will say "blah blah blah it SHOULD have said this blah blah blah" and YOU say "That's nice, but in real estate the written record tends to prevail. So, you're gonna need to live with the deal you've signed". They will threaten and fuss, and you say "You can take me to court if you'd like, but as I'm sure you know in real estate agreements the written record tends to prevail". Your other alternative is to agree to what they are proposing but say "since we're opening up the lease, there are a few things I'd like to change, too" and propose your own amendment. Maybe there is something YOU want that they wouldn't mind agreeing to?

If you agree to the change, make sure it is PROSPECTIVE (starts now), not retroactive. Otherwise, they will back bill you to May, which may be a lot of money!

Bear in mind that if you force them to live with the deal they struck, when they lease is up in 2 yrs, you can be sure the NEXT lease they offer you will include the proposed change. (That brings to mind another alternative, by the way: You can agree to their change but say "It doesn't start until next May. So, I agree to your change but for the last year of the lease.") They'll whine but you say "Look, this is gonna force me to come up with an extra $75 a month (or whatever). I'm not sure why I should have to live with that inconvenience because of YOUR sloppiness in drafting this lease! When I signed the lease, I was under the impression that I KNEW what the financial impact would be because we AGREED to the lease YOU drafted! Now, you're telling me that what I agreed to, what I based my decision on, is being changed. In other words, I'm being asked to suffer for YOUR mistake. How does that work?? Who should bear the consequences for your mistakes - should YOU bear the consequences of your mistakes, or should I bear the consequences of your mistakes?"

Last edited by Jeffrey Spaulding; 08-30-2006 at 01:05 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 12:57 PM
 
39 posts, read 27,131 times
Reputation: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman313 View Post
The word is "Attorney"..............!
The problem with that is that very few attorney's will touch any case for less than, say, $1,500 in billings. Less than that, it just isn't worth their time. And that $1,500 or so may be more than the proposed change! Also, getting an attorney involved will escalate the matter and sour relationships. So, before jumping into an attorney, I'd simply tell them "Sorry, that's not what we agreed to". If THEY threaten to get an attorney tell them "I can do that too, but the court is just going to see the language YOU drafted as being in the lease, and they are going to laugh you out of the court. I didn't draft this document; YOU drafted this document! We can get attorney's involved if you'd like, but ultimately that cost is going to be borne by you and the outcome will be the same. If you REALLY want to redress this issue so that it never happens again, fire whichever one of your employees drafted this lease for you, since you obviously don't think it reflects your wishes. Also, fire whoever signed the lease but didn't READ it first and catch the error. Because someone on YOUR end of the deal needs to bear the burden of YOUR mistakes. To put it another way, it sounds like a problem - but it ain't MY problem!"

Last edited by Jeffrey Spaulding; 08-30-2006 at 01:07 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 01:08 PM
 
2,313 posts, read 2,643,262 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshvo View Post
I am in a situation in which I have a 2 year lease that I had signed in May. Today I just got word that they made a "mistake" when they created my lease. An utility that on the lease the landlord is supposed to pay, they are now saying "whoops" and that it is my responsibilty. Can they change a lease like that? Someone is saying "no, it's binding", and then someone else is saying yes, all they have to do now is create an amendement and make me sign it. Couldn't they then just change anything and everything in the lease, creating all kinds of different amendements? How is this possible?
What exactly is it they are saying they want you to pay and the cost?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 01:25 PM
 
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 8,059,513 times
Reputation: 2312
This is not something I knew beforehand. We didn't speak about who was to pay for what utilities (though I knew that I would have to pay for electric and hte regular utilities such as cable, phone...). I didn't know about if I had to pay for water or not because that sometimes fluctuates with landlord. When I received the lease, my husband and I sat through it in the presence of the agent (and, this lease was created by a lawyer), and we read that they were responsible for "providing the following utilities only: water, sewer and garbage", and that tenant is responsible for ALL other ultities. We signed the lease in April, and even though it was not to start until June, we had an addendum to the lease that once the utilities that we pay for were switched to our name, we were allowed to move in starting in May.

I just heard about that this water issue was a mistake today. August 30th. So the May bill, June bill, July bill went unpaid, became deliquent, and had a shut off notice. How I knew this is because the bills came here, and I was told by the owner to drop off the bill at her son's house. So as each bill came, I could see it wasn't paid. Finally mu husband went to speak to the owner's son and he said that it was to his understanding that the tenant paid the bill, to which we replied, "no, per the lease it states the landlord". So then we emailed the agent that handles our payment to the landlord regarding this water issue, becuase we were afraid that our water shut off. We got his reply today that the part about the landlord paying the water was incorrect, the lawyer who made the lease was wrong, and therefore we are to start paying the water bills.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 01:36 PM
 
39 posts, read 27,131 times
Reputation: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshvo View Post
This is not something I knew beforehand. We didn't speak about who was to pay for what utilities (though I knew that I would have to pay for electric and hte regular utilities such as cable, phone...). I didn't know about if I had to pay for water or not because that sometimes fluctuates with landlord. When I received the lease, my husband and I sat through it in the presence of the agent (and, this lease was created by a lawyer), and we read that they were responsible for "providing the following utilities only: water, sewer and garbage", and that tenant is responsible for ALL other ultities. We signed the lease in April, and even though it was not to start until June, we had an addendum to the lease that once the utilities that we pay for were switched to our name, we were allowed to move in starting in May.

I just heard about that this water issue was a mistake today. August 30th. So the May bill, June bill, July bill went unpaid, became deliquent, and had a shut off notice. How I knew this is because the bills came here, and I was told by the owner to drop off the bill at her son's house. So as each bill came, I could see it wasn't paid. Finally mu husband went to speak to the owner's son and he said that it was to his understanding that the tenant paid the bill, to which we replied, "no, per the lease it states the landlord". So then we emailed the agent that handles our payment to the landlord regarding this water issue, becuase we were afraid that our water shut off. We got his reply today that the part about the landlord paying the water was incorrect, the lawyer who made the lease was wrong, and therefore we are to start paying the water bills.
It does sound like a typo. Legally, you aren't responsible for a thing. And any lease I've ever seen had the landlord paying water. Anyone else here had to pay water? But, the cost of water can't add that much more to your monthly bill, so you might consider paying it. Talk to the other tenants and find out what they do.

If you do agree to pay it, I still wouldn't agree to their lease change - I would just pay the bill. This way, if you disagree over something else later on, you can always come after them for what they owe you for the water bill. You'll have a small amount of leverage.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 01:42 PM
 
2,313 posts, read 2,643,262 times
Reputation: 471
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshvo View Post
This is not something I knew beforehand. We didn't speak about who was to pay for what utilities (though I knew that I would have to pay for electric and hte regular utilities such as cable, phone...). I didn't know about if I had to pay for water or not because that sometimes fluctuates with landlord. When I received the lease, my husband and I sat through it in the presence of the agent (and, this lease was created by a lawyer), and we read that they were responsible for "providing the following utilities only: water, sewer and garbage", and that tenant is responsible for ALL other ultities. We signed the lease in April, and even though it was not to start until June, we had an addendum to the lease that once the utilities that we pay for were switched to our name, we were allowed to move in starting in May.

I just heard about that this water issue was a mistake today. August 30th. So the May bill, June bill, July bill went unpaid, became deliquent, and had a shut off notice. How I knew this is because the bills came here, and I was told by the owner to drop off the bill at her son's house. So as each bill came, I could see it wasn't paid. Finally mu husband went to speak to the owner's son and he said that it was to his understanding that the tenant paid the bill, to which we replied, "no, per the lease it states the landlord". So then we emailed the agent that handles our payment to the landlord regarding this water issue, becuase we were afraid that our water shut off. We got his reply today that the part about the landlord paying the water was incorrect, the lawyer who made the lease was wrong, and therefore we are to start paying the water bills.
I own a few rentals and it is common for the Land lord to pay the water garbage and sewer if available. Actually it is built into the rent so the tenant is paying indirectly anyway and It always stays in the name of the landlord.

In fact with milti-units there is always only one meter on the property even though there could be 10 units that is in the landlords name. They may be acting like "What are you talking about, of course you pay the water" but they are wrong, it would be very unusual from my experience. Is the water now in the land lords name? How did they expect you to pay, just directly to them?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2006, 01:42 PM
 
Location: tampa
34 posts, read 127,540 times
Reputation: 13
No, I did Property Management for 10 years!!!! If the lease says the landlord pays, the landlord pays! HOWEVER, like you said they can change it, but they need your signature to do so.

A lease is a legal binding contract. Water is not a new thing when it comes to rentals! Some are submetered even in apartment complexes.

You read that it was included therefore, legally it is included, and they will have to live with it. However, this is going to cause conflict, and depending on the bill, you may made some agreement, that you will pay from hear on out, etc. If you feel you would rather not have the tension. But I personally would not sign ANYTHING and have them pay for it. If your water gets shut off you will have to deciede where to go from there.

You are kinda in a bad position, since you can't live without water! So you are going to have to get it turned on in your name if it gets shut off in the landlords... You can always put your rent in Escrow while you dispute, but you may have no water, and so unfortunatly as illegal as it is, you might have to pay it Cause I do agree a lawyer will be a lot. I am sure you would win, but in the mean time you will be paying for water and eventually get it back, but not sure if it is worth it?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Florida
Similar Threads
View detailed profiles of:

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top