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Can a personal guarantee in a commercial real estate lease be valid if the lease was signed not in it's entirety?

Seattle, WA |

A friend of mine unwittingly signed a large commercial lease without having the document legally reviewed. It includes a personal guarantee, which is listed in a section that does not exist within the documents he was given. I'm wondering if this invalidates the personal guarantee, or perhaps the lease altogether?

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Attorney answers 3


I think your friend must seek legal assistance of a real estate attorney to review the documents and the facts and circumstances surrounding the review and execution of them. If the Lessor slipped in a personal guarantee in a version that he did not have the opportunity to review and did not sign, then your friend may have a case to get out of the personal guarantee and/or lease. However, if he just has an earlier draft of the lease, without a personal guarantee, but actually signed the version with the personal guarantee, then the Lessor may prevail. As you can see, the answer depends on the documents, facts and circumstances. Have your friend contact a lawyer soon.


You will probably have to sue the landlord to get a firm resolution. The facts and documentary evidence is very important in this type of dispute and there is no yes or no answer.

I recommend contacting an attorney with commercial lease or landlord-tenant experience to review the documents and give you an answer for your particular situation.


Good afternoon. I agree with Mr. Kenney. It is important to look at all the documents in their entirety. Generally speaking, a personal guarantee does not have to be contained within the lease contract. It can be a separate document so long as it it clearly labeled and terms of the guarantee explicitly lay out what the signor is guaranteeing. I would highly recommend your friend meets with a commercial law attorney to review the documents and figure out if the guarantee is enforceable. Good luck!

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