I have a landlord/tenant problem.

Asked 3 months ago - Yorktown, VA

I have a landlord/tenant problem. We had a year lease for the house we live in. That year lease ended at the end of March of this year. My boyfriend signed and addendum to the lease in January dropping our rent $300 for an oyster company to use the property to and use some of our utilities. My boyfriend lost his job not long after that and so we got a few months behind in rent starting in April (after the originial lease that I signed ended). The property management company sued us both for what was owed and was trying to get a judgement on us. We contested and so a new court date was set. Since then my boyfriend has worked out an arrangement with the property management company to pay our montly rent plus &200/month towards whats owed. My boyfriend has signed a new addendum to the lease agreeing to this, I have yet to sign it and the property manager is wanting me to sign it. I am honestly scared to sign it. My question is should I sign it? Also, could they have gotten a judgement against me since i technically wasnt on the lease because I didnt sign the first addendum or would the addendum be null and void because I didnt sign it? Also, we have reported to the property management company several times about things needing to be fixed at the house and it has never been fixed. It has been months now. One more question, is it required for the property management company to provide proper insulation underneath the house? We live next to the water and it gets extremely cold in the winter in our house. My electric bill was over $400 for one month. We are sure there is no insulation underneathe the house and have expressed our concerns but nothing was done about it. Thank you

Attorney answers (1)

  1. James Lee Gaines

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . You state a lot of issue, lets see if we can get through a few:

    Judgment - if you lived in the house you are responsible for the rent, even if there was no lease. They likely could have gotten a judgment against you, and still can if no agreement is reached.

    New Lease - only you can decide if you want to sign. If you do not sign, you should be prepared to move out. The landlord will also likely continue the court case, and likely win. These sorts of cases are usually straight forward, unless there is some sort of notice problem. In this case it seems everyone is well notified. There may be some technical issues, however, that are not in the facts presented.

    Things needing fixed - this should probably be part of your negotiations. Depending upon the severity of the problems, you may have the right to vacate the premises or pay for repairs and deduct from the rent. CHECK LOCAL REGULATIONS!!

    Floor insulation - the easiest way to get this answer is to call a local contractor and ask what the codes require. Do this before signing a new lease, and add the issue to the negotiations.

    The bottom line is that you are vulnerable to a judgment. Signing a new lease with a stipulation of paying back the late rent is a viable way to prevent the judgment.

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