If I did not sign a lease agreement but the owner made my girlfriend sign my name is it a legal contract in the state of Florida? He also put her on the lease and she was not supposed to be. She did sign her name. Can the owner keep my money and deposit? Is there a 24 hour recission law in FLorida for leasing a home?
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
If your girlfriend signed the lease agreement then she will be bound by the terms. If the money was paid to the landlord it is still a valid lease if she signed in her name along with her signature for your name. The landlord may not be able to hold you to the terms of the lease but the money paid to the landlord as a security deposit will be subject to Chapter 83 procedure regarding security deposit. If the lease is found to be invalid you are still a tenant in the home and will be subject to the landlord-tenant statute. You should consult a landlord-tenant attorney to determine what defenses you may have? I am not aware of a 24 hours rescission period for leasing a home in Florida.
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
I'm not aware of any 24-hour recission period in Florida for this type of tenancy either. If your girlfriend was going to be residing in the dwelling with you anyways, the landlord would of had her sign as a permitted occupant. Therefore, as it stands now, just your girlfriend is bound to the lease. But, if you live there with her (which I suspect was the goal) the landlord is going to request you come into their office to get your actual signature. At least that's how it should occur.
Even if you never sign the lease, but reside there, the landlord could have you evicted as an unauthorized occupant. So, the end result is to just go in and sign the lease if this is where you plan to live. If not, you will need to consult an attorney about trying to get your girlfriend out of the lease she signed for.
Estate Planning Attorney
Thanks for your question. Since I am an attorney, I cannot ethically give you specific legal advice on your situation, since you are not my client, but I can only provide you with general information that you may find helpful.
If your girlfriend was acting as your agent, and she signed on behalf of you, then this is a valid lease. If the landlord had reason to believe that she was not authorized to act on your behalf, then it would not be a valid lease.
I am not aware of a 24 hour rescission statute in Florida for housing leases.
You should consider consulting with a local attorney to see what your options are from here.
Best of luck,
Shawn C. Newman, Esq.
Attorney At Law
1881 NE 26th Street, Suite 212E
Wilton Manors, FL 33305