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Can a landlord rewrite a lease and backdate it in Washington State?

Spokane, WA |

we moved from one unit to another and a new lease was never written. 2 weeks ago the apartment manager made us a lease for our new unit and back dated the lease for march. we went from march til november without a lease on the new unit. what are our rights and is this legal?

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Attorney answers 2


Arguably no, but how have you been damaged by this? If the lease was back dated to March, that means you can get out this coming March, if that is what you want. Also, when you sign a contract without complaining about the start date, the Court is going to think that the start date was OK by you. If you don't agree, don't sign it. Elizabeth Powell

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A tenant can decide whether or not to sign a back-dated lease, but it's wise to look at all other lease provisions (besides the effective date) to see how the month-to-month terms will change. Agreeing to a retroactive date could let a landlord off the hook for liabilities that arose before signing; it could also impose liabilities on a tenant that didn't exist before signing. You should have an attorney review the proposed lease to be sure you're not signing away or signing on to such liabilities.