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Is it legal for a landlord to alter or add to an already signed lease?

Los Angeles, CA |

When i initially signed my lease, my landlord left the monthly amount blank as well as security deposit blank because she was waiving 2 months of rent in exchange for my cleanup of the former tenants mess on the property. Later, she had me sign another lease, with rent at $900 per month and a security deposit of 900. Both myself and my husband signed the initial lease that was blank, and she only had me sign the second leasse. She later filed a UD complaint against us for non payment of rent, even though we raised issues of habitability. (no running water, holes in walls and floor, mice infestation, etc.) the lease she included with her complaint was the initial lease, only she filled in the blanks without our knowledge. Is this legal for her to do?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Thew landlord cannot unilaterally modify the lease you signed. Talk to a local lawyer.


  2. Anything your landlord adds after you both sign and agree is not legally binding. Its an invalid addition.

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am ethically required to state that the answer I have provided you does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered GENERAL legal education and are intended to provide GENERAL information about the question asked. Since the law can change on a day to day basis, information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney after meeting with the attorney and informing them of all facts relevant to your question. Please keep in mind, that the smallest omitted detail has the potential to completely change an answer. Therefore, this answer is provided solely as a GENERAL answer and should be treated as HIGHLY LIKELY to be edited upon a proper consultation with an attorney.


  3. You will want a copy of the original lease you signed that was blank when you defend against the judgment. I highly recommend hiring an attorney for this problem. Depending on local law, you might be able to recover the attorney fees and costs if you prevail.

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