I have been renting a home from a property management company since 3/22/12. I was looking over my lease since I wanted to move to a new place. I signed a one year lease, but upon reviewing the lease it said it didn't expire until 4/30/13. My wife called on 1/3/13 to ask, and was told that the date on the lease paper was wrong. Their system showed 3/31/13 as our lease end date. I called on the 1/8/13 and re-confirmed it . I was told the same thing. I signed a lease for a new place last weekend, and when I turned in my notice yesterday, the owner of the management called and said our lease isn't up until 4/30/13. I told her what we were told by her employee, and she said the although their system does say 3/31/13, the signed paper is all that matters. What can I do? Please help.
Real Estate Attorney
You are not out of luck. Generally, what is written down is all that matters. But you can still show by clear and convincing evidence that the writing does not conform to what the parties agreed upon. In addition, you may have two other outs depending on the lease's terms.
Does the lease prohibit modification except in writing? If not, then it was modified in your telephone calls.
If the lease says "one year" but also says it expires April 30, then it is ambiguous, and you can show that you meant it to end in March, not April. It would be helpful to have a document in which the property manager agreed that it ended in March. The telephone calls help, but the property manager may insist that they never took place.
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