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Renewable leases: Can they automatically renew the lease without the signature?

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  • Renewable leases: Can they automatically renew the lease without the signature?

    My mother in law is trying to move closer to us into a senior community. She is in a lease that "automatically" renews. The renewal letter is dated for 1/31/09, so they actually dated it wrong. When she called yesterday she was told she would have to pay 3500.00 plus 2 months rent. She never signed the renewal and her co-signer dropped off. Can they automatically renew her lease without her signature? Thank you!

  • #2
    re: Renewable leases: Can they automatically renew the lease without the signature?

    In most places, this is legal. But check your state laws. Automatic renewing leases are illegal in some areas. There may also be a way out if a doctor signs that she is no longer medically able to live in the unit. But it doesn't sound as if she needs round the clock nursing yet.

    She signed the original lease agreeing to automatic renewals. No doubt there is a clause in the lease that says if she does not want to renew, she needs to notify them xx days prior to the end of the lease. If she didn't notify them within that period (usually 30-60 days prior to the end of the lease), the lease renews. She needs to sign nothing more to have it renew. If the co-tenant has moved and failed to notify management, that co-tenant remains on the lease. If a tenant wants to terminate a lease at any other time but the end of that lease, a termination fee is standard. Most termination fees are equal to 2 months of rent plus the deposit amount.

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    • #3
      re: Renewable leases: Can they automatically renew the lease without the signature?

      Or she can try to argue fraud if they buried it in the lease and did not tell her.

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      • #4
        Re: Renewable leases: Can they automatically renew the lease without the signature?

        Not so. Anything that is written in plain English in the lease is the signer's responsibility to read and understand. Even if it is written in the middle of page 6 on a 20 page lease. The LL does not have to read and explain the lease to you. It is your responsibility. If they sign the lease, it is implied that they read and understood the terms they were agreeing to. The only way around this is to show that she was incompetent and unable to understand the terms when she signed.

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