1/4 Tenants Signs Lease – Is Lease Still Valid?
|Monday, April 30th, 2012 9:52 pm|
|Posted By: Anonymous Tenant|
Three other friends and myself were going to rent a 4-bedroom apartment with a huge management company in a college town. But after I signed the lease and one of the other 3 deposited the security deposit of $1700.00, the other 3 decided to backed out leaving me the sole accepter of this lease… And the management company wants me to pay $200.00 before they’ll put it on the market (or rather.. have me put it on the market) and return our $1700.00 security deposit.
Upon seeking assistance from a non-profit organization and my own research, I was left with the question of whether this lease was even valid – if it was even able to be upheld in court or in general because I believe that it isn’t an enforceable contract.
My opinion stems from my basic knowledge of "basic contract laws" – more specifically one that I interpret to state that both parties are supposed to agree to the provisions. I interpret as such: If my party consists of four individuals and only one of the four have signed the lease, then the full party is not in agreement with the provisions therefore the contract cannot be upheld.
Now if the above statement is not true, what about these questions:
The security deposit is not security deposit and must be returned to us immediately because according to Wisconsin laws, earnest money is money that a prospective tenant gives to landlords to "hold" their spot in possibly renting from the landlord… In this specific case, I did not give the security deposit, my friend did and they haven’t signed the lease therefore they are that "prospective tenant" that gave that landlord earnest money to "hold" their spot to possibly rent from the landlord. But they aren’t renting because they didn’t sign so the landlord must return the "earnest" money right away because it isn’t "security deposit" because security deposit is when a prospective tenant becomes a tenant. When that happens, then the landlord will have 21 days after the lease or rerental date of the unit – I get that, but it isn’t security deposit! It’s earnest money! Right?
Is it even legal to write whatever and charge whatever you want in a lease?! A flat fee of $200.00 for "administrative fees"? I have the right to know what I’m being charged for so I would like to ask for an itemized and detailed list of what my money is going to. At least that is what I would like to do, can I do this?
Last question, unconscionable contracts states that "an unconscionable contract is one that no mentally competent person would accept and that no fair and honest person would enter into" — I don’t think the contract should be upheld because it is illogical for a tenant to enter into a $1700.00/month rental agreement with no job and is a full-time student. Yes, I did have a co-signer, but my mother lost her job and isn’t set to financially fund a $1700.00/month 4-bedroom apartment. And no landlord (more specifically, a HUGE management company) is that idiotic to try to rent a $1700.00 apartment to an unemployed student. And I don’t think they are stupid enough to do that — what they did however, was put clauses in the lease that charges for EVERYTHING. But illegal clauses in leases and just random clauses can’t be upheld – I do believe in the court system still.. kinda. Let’s hope this time around anyways…
Thoughts on any of this would be nice. The apartment is due to be mine in August so there’s four months left.
In dire help of some justice!