1

In my lease for an apartment that I am renting it says:

You are giving up certain important rights. You are waiving your right to have a Notice sent to you before the Landlord starts a court action to recover possession for nonpayment of rent or for any other reason. You are also waiving your right to a Jury trial.

What does this mean in practice, and is it normal to include such statements in a lease?

  • 6
    Seems like this would be more appropriate over on Law. – brhans Jul 25 '18 at 21:08
  • 2
    I'd find another apartment. – ceejayoz Jul 26 '18 at 1:10
  • 1
    wouldn't this just be part of an arbitration clause ? – Fattie Jul 26 '18 at 11:32
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this question is about law and not personal finance. – MD-Tech Jul 27 '18 at 7:27
4

TO RECOVER POSSESSION FOR NONPAYMENT OF RENT

Notices have time limits, and give deadbeat lessees that much more time to live for free -- and trash up -- the apartment.

That's perfectly reasonable.

OR FOR ANY OTHER REASON.

But that means they can start an action against you for any reason. Which is unreasonable.

YOU ARE ALSO WAIVING YOUR RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL.

And if they're slumlords, you can't sue. Also unreasonable.

  • The jury trial as written would mean disputes are handled by summary judgement or arbitrage only. It doesn't remove the right to sue completely. – A.K. Jul 26 '18 at 0:59
  • 1
    It might be possible to "start" a court action for any reason, but if it's not a reason recognised by the court then the court will end it pretty quickly. If a court hears it, by definition it's considered in that jurisdiction to be reasonable. The most likely "other reason" is probably the one you mentioned earlier - trashing up the apartment. Most jurisdictions have much less patience for tenants doing this compared to falling behind on rent. – Will Jul 26 '18 at 9:43
3

You are waiving your right to have a Notice sent to you before the Landlord starts a court action to recover possession

In practice this means that if the landlord wants you out of the apartment quickly and has some grounds to use court action to force an eviction, he will be able to skip some notice period that the court would ordinarily require.

This clearly makes things more convenient for him and gives you less time to prepare to fight the action or prepare to move out.

You are also waiving your right to a Jury trial.

This also limits your options for fighting such a court action. At the very least it assures the landlord a speedier result, since jury trials take longer than other court hearings, and perhaps in your jurisdiction it would be deemed to make it harder to get a result in your favor.

Both terms exclusively benefit the landlord and disadvantage you. Whether it's normal probably depends on your jurisdiction and whether you can find alternative apartments that don't require the same concessions.

To what extent they would disadvantage you will also depend on your jurisdiction. If the court process for seeking eviction is especially generous towards tenants, you might feel confident of never giving a court a reason to grant an application to evict you. If the landlord could have a court evict you at the drop of a hat whenever he felt like using the apartment for something else, you might feel differently about agreeing to these waivers.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.