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Did I personally guarantee my lease?

Chicago, IL |

Hello. I have a business that I need to close down. The lease has not yet expired. The beginning of the lease states the lease is made between "Landlord" and "My Business Name Here" and "My Personal Name Here" (jointly and severally "Tenant")... Later there is a basic lease provisions sections where it has a section for Guarantors and says "N/A" by it. At the very end of the lease where the Landlord and I sign, the Landlord signed, then it has a section for my business name which is signed by me, and then a section with My Personal Name followed by the words "Individually" and I signed it. Did I personally guarantee this lease? Hopefully this was easy to follow. Thank you!

There is no separate personal guarantee page or personal guarantee section other than what I mentioend above. as I have seen in other leases.

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

You may have lease this in your name and the company name, an attorney really should have a look at the lease. In general when you sign without your title it is personal and if your LLC or corporation was the entity that leased and payed the rent then there is an argument to made that the business has dissolved. The landlord may attempt to place the burden of the rest of the lease on you and you will need counsel.
Good Luck

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Posted

An attorney would need to review the entire agreement to give you an answer, but the fact that you signed your name "individually" would seem to indicate that you are personally responsible for the terms of the lease.

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Posted

Just from the facts presented, you are likely going to be personally responsible.

This reminds me of a situation I was in personally prior to becoming an attorney, and maybe a learning lesson for others: I signed a commercial lease for a businesses. Fortunately, I had already incorporated the business when I signed the lease, because I signed the lease as "Brian Lohse, President" and then the name of my company. When I had to terminate the lease, the landlord couldn't go after me personally. He could only go after the corporation because I was only signing as an agent of the corporation.

I'm not going to go into a full legal analysis of who is responsible for agreements made under an "agency relationship", that is an entire topic of its own. But typically, if the landlord knows that the person signing the lease is only an "agent" of the corporation (such as the president or secretary), the landlord can only go after the corporation.

Maybe this little scenario / example will help out others when they are faced with a similar situation.

Posted

It appears you may be personally liable on the lease. With the benefit of reviewing the entire document it is not really possible to tell for sure. You should being your lease to an attorney for a better review of your facts.

Posted

Thought it is impossible to tell without reading the lease, it appears that you did personally guarantee the lease. You should consult with a lawyer to get a formal opinion. A lawyer could also help you mitigate the adverse personal consequences by negotiating with your landlord.

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