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NJ - Landlord Get Out of Lease - Landlord Forum thread 359288








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Excuses!

NJ - Landlord Get Out of Lease by CaeCor on May 5, 2019 @13:51

                              
Hello Everyone,
Have a tenant who passed a background check, references etc.
Gave me security deposit (it has been deposited) and signed the lease (I have not signed the lease yet or given the tenant a copy). The first month's rent has not been paid yet and I have not given the keys to the tenant.

Over the past few days, the tenant has begun showing some signs that she will be a problem tenant. Very odd to say the least, and I will not go into details. That being said: Since I have not signed the lease or given the keys to the tenant, nor has the first months rent been given to me, can I give her back the security and simply say the deal is off (paraphgrasing but you get the idea). Or if someone can recommend a better way of handling please let me know.

Thanks
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Re: NJ - Landlord Get Out of Lease by Garry on May 5, 2019 @17:09 [ Reply ]
In the legal world, you have a "meeting of the minds". You checked the prospective tenant out, and accepted her background. Then you handed a lease to the prospective tenant, and she signed it, and handed it back to you, with the reasonable expectation that you would make a copy of it, and give it to her. You requested a deposit at that time, which was freely given, and you accepted it and deposited it.

If anybody is in the wrong, you are. You should have handed a copy of the lease, with your signature on it, to her, within 24 hours. Right now, she has no obligation to pay you any rent, until you produce the lease with both signatures on it. In fact, if you gave her a receipt for the deposit, or she has a cancelled check, or a money order receipt, showing you are holding her deposit, she could take you to court, and win several times the amount of money she gave you.

The way I see it, you have 2 choices : either follow thru with her becoming a tenant of yours, (like a "good" landlord should), or see how much money you will have to pay her, above her deposit, for her to back out of the deal. Which ever way you go, chalk this up to a learning experience, and maybe check people out a little farther from now on. By the way, this is why I only do month to month leases for all my tenants. If I start seeing things about my tenants that I don't like, I can just give them a 30 day notice to move. If they don't move, I can go to court, and win, as they would be considered a "holdover" tenant.
Re: NJ - Landlord Get Out of Lease by lpadave on May 5, 2019 @17:19 [ Reply ]
Well, as a general matter you should have gotten all funds due and all paperwork (incl. insurance cert) at / with lease signing.

You should not have accepted,....let alone deposited the tenants security deposit check until you had all intended funds and paperwork due, AND you intended to actually accept and countersign the lease.

Although most jurisdictions do not consider a written lease to be valid and in force until signed by all parties,....the tenant could raise a good and possibly effective point that you did indeed accept and deposit money, thereby creating a tenancy.

If you're having second thoughts about this tenancy, send her back your check for the full amount with a polite letter,.......and hope for the best (she goes quietly into the night).

If she doesn't, you're probably gonna be stuck with this shotgun marriage !!

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