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The title is a little misleading. Lease agreements tend to have multiple forms that need to be signed. In my case there was the actual lease agreement (with checkmarks next to many things that needed signatures) and an extra form that the lease referenced which was the pet agreement.

In my case, there are two tenants (me and my girlfriend + our cat). First of all, we were given a lease to sign but were not given the pet agreement at the time. The landlord called us the day before they wanted the lease signed and told us if they didn't have it the next day they would have to rent it out to someone else. Since we did not have the pet agreement and I have a full time job, I only signed the lease itself and didn't initial any of the check boxes because some addendums needed to be made before I would agree to it. I did however sign the final "signature" line and so did my girlfriend.

When she brought the lease in the next day, they explained to her the pet agreement. The agreement adds an additional non-refundable deposit, even after the rent for the building is already set higher in the first place because it's a pet building. I never was given the option to sign that (and I wouldn't had I read it) but she did.

I'm wondering if this lease is binding or not (to both or either of us) because of this addition to the original lease. Normally this wouldn't bother me if they actually used the deposit to clean the apartment but when we got the keys and looked in it, it had obviously NOT been cleaned. When viewing the apartment, the person showing it mentioned that they "hadn't come in to clean it yet" which implies to me that they WILL come in to clean it.

I realize this is probably a law question but I'm not sure where to ask about it or find the information. It may be common enough to fit into this site as well.

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    if they didn't have it the next day they would have to rent it out to someone else -- urgency is a warning sign. It hurts your ability to carefully analyze the situation and make good decisions. Sometimes it is real, but is also a tactic used by sleazy salesmen. – bstpierre May 17 '11 at 2:14
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From the sound of it you both did sign the lease, but you failed to sign the pet addendum to the lease. Is this correct?

If this is the case then you are both liable for the lease itself, but only the signing part is liable for the pet addendum. Depending on the verbiage of your lease agreement this can still be a valid lease.

What are you real concerns for this question? Are you looking for way to remove yourself (or both of you) from the lease without any liability?

Word of advice, never sign a contract until it is complete and to your liking. Also retain an immediate copy of the signed agreement and verify that it is identical to your previous signing.

  • My real concern is why are we forfeiting a non-refundable $400 pet deposit for no reason? We also were not told that our cat has to have some shots. We were told this after putting a down payment on the place. Seems sneaky to me. – Joe Phillips May 16 '11 at 21:54
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    It is sneaky, but the question here is are you comfortable with your girlfriend being liable for the $400, but not you? If not (and I'm guessing not), then the question of whether both of you signed it is moot. The legality of that non-disclosure is more relevant, but probably not worth your time. If you search for the apartment in Google, you'll probably find an option to review it (and read other reviews). – Ben Hocking May 17 '11 at 18:06
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Have you moved out? I'm not understanding the part about the landlord not cleaning -- typically they clean the apartment after you and your cat move out.

If you feel strongly about it, I would sue them in small claims court at the conclusion of the lease, especially if you can document other deficiencies with the apartment, maintenance, etc. I was able to successfully sue for my deposit over a similar issue where only one of the parties sign.

Your success will vary according to the terms of the lease, the law in your locality, your presentation in court and the judge.

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    I guess the apartment wasn't clean when they moved in, implying they won't actually clean when they will move out either. – o0'. Jul 22 '14 at 18:25

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