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Tenant Refuses Lease; If she won't sign, I want her out


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#1 austra

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:38 AM

I have a Tenant who signed an illegal Lease, given to her by a manager hired to show the space, not authorized to sign on behalf of the Landlord. She moved into the property. The illegal Lease is rife with problems: no address, stating rent may be paid with a credit card (it cannot), and more. A big problem with the illegal Lease states the Lessee does not pay utilities, when utility payments are are in fact split between the Lessees, as this is a roommate situation.

As Landlord, I informed her the Lease she signed is illegal and gave her a new corrected Lease. It states utility payments are the responsibility of the Lessee. I included some rent concession to help offset the added cost of utilities.

She is understandably upset, and is hedging on signing the new Lease, first saying the Lease didn't reach her, now saying she is busy and her schoolwork is a greater priority. It has been a week, and I need to get this resolved. It's time to fish or cut bait.

At what point do I send her a notice? And since she doesn't currently have a fully executed legal,formal written Lease, what terms do I reference to force her to take some action (sign the Lease or move out)? The property is located in California.

Thanks.

#2 adjusterjack

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

Be careful about what you do without the advice of an attorney. The lease might not be "illegal" as you claim.

There is a legal doctrine known as "apparent authority" or "ostensible authority."

By having a manager show the unit to a prospective tenant you may have inadvertently given the prospective tenant the impression that the manager had the authority to execute a lease with her since that's what manager's are often authorized to do.

That could make you obligated by the terms of the existing lease.

You could, of course, have a cause of action against the manager for any monetary damages you suffer as a result of his acting beyond the scope of his "actual authority."

Study up on the subject. Wikipedia has a reasonably accurate article:

https://en.wikipedia...arent_authority

The California Civil Code Section 2317 has this to say:

"Ostensible authority is such as a principal, intentionally or
by want of ordinary care, causes or allows a third person to believe
the agent to possess."


http://www.leginfo.c...&file=2304-2326

And here are two cases (although unrelated to rentals) that explain the elements of "apparent authority" as viewed by California courts:

https://law.justia.c...l3d/38/396.html

http://uberlaw.net/2...maintenance-co/

I suggest you consult an attorney before you take any action that might get you in hot water.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#3 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

For further clariifcaiton and to learn more about what your next steps should be, visit Legal Street to locate a local lawyer in your area who will be able to advise you of your rights as a landlord. For less than $13 a month, you can have unlimited access to qualified attorneys to help you with most of your legal needs year-round.

#4 prose7_2334

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

first, fire the Property Manager, it was him who started all of that stuff. Secondly, attempt to result the issue amicably between the two of yu. If all else fails u might wanna grab an Attorney or save urself some money and Google Search the Landlord/Tenant statutes in California.




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