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Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Rental Agreement Contract

November 18, 2012

Susan asks…

Renewal of Residential rental agreement. Texas.?

I am renting out a house in Texas. This is the first time I’ve ever rented a house. The lease will expire in three months. Are the tenants required to sign another lease and renew for another year or does it automatically got to a month-to-month lease? My aunt says they don’t sign another lease, it just turns into a month-to-month lease. This somehow doesn’t seem right to me. I thought that there is supposed to be another rental contract. My aunt says that only applies to apartments, not houses.

Administrator answers:

You’ll have to read your lease to see what happens. Most TAA leases go month-to-month automatically at expiration, whether it’s a house or apartment. Either party can request a new lease at that point, it’s all up for negotiation between the parties.

I used to be a landlord in TX and always contacted my tenants about 60 days prior to the expiration date to let them know that I would require a new lease within 60 days of the expiration of the old one if they wished to stay. If they wanted to stay month-to-month there would be a 10% rent increase. Most of them opted to go with a new lease but a few decided to stay month-to-month if they were planning a move or home purchase in the near future.

Joseph asks…

Added garage to apartment rental,can I cancel?

With recent cuts in the economy, we are hurting. So because of this, we have to do our own budget cuts. About 3 months ago the apartments where we live did a special for garages for 45 dollars a month. There was no contract signed or verbal agreement of duration. Do I have a case for turning over the unit? I’ll be talking with them later today to find out options.
What I meant about “case” was just the fact that I could release the garage back to the complex…not as in a legal case.

Administrator answers:

Yes, a 30 day notice that you are releasing the garage back to them is all you need to do.

William asks…

rental landlord sold apartment?

Hi. I know laws vary state to state but generally, what happens if I am renting and my landlord sold the property? Does the new owner “inherit” the contract for me to stay until at least the lease expires? Or is the rental agreement null and void and the new owner can kick me out anytime once he takes possession of the unit?

Administrator answers:

In the absence of anything in your lease it will transfer to the new owner who will have to honor it. This includes the price and term plus the return of your security deposit. Your lease may have out clauses which allow the new owner the right to terminate the lease early.

Mary asks…

Can a minor be held to a housing contract?

When I was 17, I signed a 6 month rental agreement in Utah with an 18 year old. I moved out after a couple months, but the other tenant stayed.

Now, four years later, I’m being contacted by a debt collection agency for charges (cleaning, unpaid rent) occurred during the other tenants stay in the apartment.

Am I bound by the contract that I signed at 17? Or do the charges apply to the other tenant because I was a minor at the time? I can’t find any statutes for the state of Utah that detail Landlord/Tenant laws regarding minors.

Administrator answers:

Normally it would not be binding. But it sounds like you were emancipated, in which case it is a binding contract.

Steven asks…

Did i breach the rental agreement?

I was living in Toronto and rent an apartment in Sep.2009,the agreement was 1 year fixed.However,i had to leave Canada in Jan. 2010 due to family emergency,obviously i had to move out early which means break the contract,i told landlord the truth and tried to explained my difficult situation also showing the effort to find other tenants to fill in the vacancy,i did find people who were willing to take the apt. but the landlord wouldn’t take my name off the lease and the person who moved in must be under my contract,so i told to her that i cannot take the risk to let someone under my lease since i had no power to conduct the credit check and not knowing one of them…so i called the rental board for advice,they said i had the right not to sub-lease,negotiated a new assignment with landlord,if not success i can file a letter to terminate the lease myself.I tried to negotiate but the landlord’s company had no longer answer my the end,i mailed a letter to the company with detailed explaination,potential tenants’ phone number and our email copy to show my effort also i paid that month’s rent and left last month deposit for penalty, and i left with my furniture in the apartment and no damage,i cleaned the apartment. My question is did i breach the agreement and when i go back to Toronto,will that be difficult to rend an apartmetn again? how do i know the landlord take my case to the court or not?Thank you very much!

Administrator answers:

Yes you breached the lease. You did have a right to find someone to take over the tenancy subject to the landlord’s approval. If the landlord refuses the new tenant, it must be reasonable.

Have you been sued? Check with the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Toronto Small Claims Court.

Will it hurt your credit and your chance of obtaining a new apartment? Maybe. The landlord might have reported the information the credit bureaus.

Daniel asks…

Nullify a signed rental agreement?

My husband and I signed a lease 3 days ago today to rent a mans home for the next 3 years. We are currently renting an apartment and finally got word from our mortagage lender that we have been approved for a home loan. Is there anyway to get out of this lease?? I have heard that a person has 3 days as a “cooling off” period to nullify the contract. Any information would be helpful. Thanks!

Administrator answers:

“cooling” applies to credit cards, not rentals.

You can likely get out by forfeiting your deposit only, but you need to read the CONTRACT you signed. There should be an out clause in it.

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