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Lease extension question

Old 09-03-10, 12:30 PM
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Lease extension question

Hey everyone

So I bought a house in July nearby, but was still under lease for my current apartment through August.

Renovations were taking longer than expected, so I asked my landlord for a 1mo extension. He had already dropped off a 1year extension previously. I didn't hear a response from him, so I simply changed the effective extension date (to 1 month) initialed/signed and dropped it off with a check.

He cashed the check, but today I receive a letter saying they don't approve an extension and want $3000.

I'm fairly certain that accepting the check is de facto agreeing to the contract. How difficult can he make other issues like recovering a security deposit? This is in New Jersey, btw.
Old 09-03-10, 12:49 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

only question is does your change to the contract make it a valid change or did you just accept it?

in NYC i just bought a co-op and all changes are done by an amendment to the contract at the end. not crossing something out and writing a change in

when you sent the contract back did you tell the landlord in writing about the change you made? or did you expect him to reread the contract?
Old 09-03-10, 12:51 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

Your change is likely only valid if they also initial, but it shows that you also did not accept their contract. most states revert to a month to month in the absence of a contract. Him cashing your check is probably fine.

Make sure you keep a copy with your change, move out at the end of the month, and if they take you to court, you should be fine.
Old 09-03-10, 12:54 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

The only mistake you made was in signing the lease. Should have just sent them a check, they probably would have cashed it, and then you're a month-to-month tenant.

You're still probably okay though.
Old 09-03-10, 12:55 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Your change is likely only valid if they also initial, but it shows that you also did not accept their contract. most states revert to a month to month in the absence of a contract. Him cashing your check is probably fine.

Make sure you keep a copy with your change, move out at the end of the month, and if they take you to court, you should be fine.
I agree with this, but depending on your landlord, he may try to keep your security deposit. It might be a fight to get that back.
Old 09-03-10, 01:41 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
I agree with this, but depending on your landlord, he may try to keep your security deposit. It might be a fight to get that back.
Depending on the state, it is worth it. If I keep your deposit for reasons that I shouldn't, you sue me and you get 3 times the amount.
Old 09-03-10, 02:19 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

Thanks for the replies...

I feel like he's being retaliatory since I was originally planning on buying this property but they demanded a higher price than appraised. We attempted some negotiations, but they fell through.

I've got an email from him where he says a 1mo extension would be fine.

I'm not too worried about it, he already took the rent and I'm certainly not paying him any more. He's not legally capable of doing much - NJ has a law that limits rent-increase amounts to 4% or COLA. Wouldn't this be in breach of that?
Old 09-03-10, 02:42 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

Landlords never give any security deposit back. I never got a penny of any security deposit. So don't even worry about whether this change will keep you from getting it back...you won't. Just stay in the apartment. You're only talking about a month. In theory you could squat there, pay nothing, and it would take like 90 days for them to legally evict you. They should see the fact that you're paying for an extra month as gravey.
Old 09-03-10, 02:55 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Your change is likely only valid if they also initial, but it shows that you also did not accept their contract. most states revert to a month to month in the absence of a contract. Him cashing your check is probably fine.

Make sure you keep a copy with your change, move out at the end of the month, and if they take you to court, you should be fine.
agree with this as a general matter.

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Landlords never give any security deposit back. I never got a penny of any security deposit. So don't even worry about whether this change will keep you from getting it back...you won't. Just stay in the apartment. You're only talking about a month. In theory you could squat there, pay nothing, and it would take like 90 days for them to legally evict you. They should see the fact that you're paying for an extra month as gravey.
I have gotten most or all of my deposit back on almost every place I rented. You're likely doing it wrong (picking the wrong landlords or assuming the worst so not making any effort to get the deposit back).
Old 09-03-10, 05:26 PM
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Re: Lease extension question

A lawyer who got his security deposit back? No freaking way.

Personally, I HATE keeping deposits. Makes me feel like douche. I generally won't keep them when I should. But did have one gal who caused huge damage and owed a bunch of late rent and she called and asked about her deposit. I actually laughed. Not an evil laugh, but I was genuinely laughing because it seemed like the funniest thing in the world to me. She hung up.

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