Re: Is my lease contract valid? California
Posted by Andrea Marco on 1/02/09
On 1/02/09, -- wrote:
> On 1/02/09, Andrea Marco wrote:
>> I have a rental agreement/lease contract for a property in
>> California. The lease agreement was signed and executed
>> with no "beginning or termination dates" My verbal
>> agreement was 6 months, the owner now says I signed for a
>> year. The contract is checked for lease, but with no term
>> dates or length of time. The only dates on the contract are
>> the dates we signed and under "deposit" received rent from
>> 07/01/08 - 1/01/09. I have a PDF of the contract on the
>> date executed and the "term" area is blank. Does that make
>> this lease null and void? How do I prove it was for 6
>> months only?
> The landlord will have the burden of showing the length of
> the lease if he sues you for specific performance or damages.
> Parole evidence (oral evidence to establish what is not in
> the contract) can not be used to contradict a term of a
> contract, but here parole evidence would probably be
> admissible to clarify an ambiguous or missing term if there
> was a mutuasl mistake which appears to be the case. However,
> he says you did and you say you didn't agree to 1 year. It's
> his burden to prove you did, so you would win a tie. If you
> made lease payments each month, I think you have at most a
> valid month to month lease. The length of a lease is a
> material term so it may be void ab initio as far as the
> length goes.
> Let us know what happens. I can't advise you what to do.
> You will need to consult a CA lawyer for legal advice.
I appreciate the information. Our payment we made monthly and listed on our
contract specifically for a six month period. 07/08 to 1/09. We never missed a
payment or were late. The landlord acknowledged a letter we wrote notifying him
of us vacating. He also wrote us an e-mail, we have stating that once he recieved
our notice and he did his walk through he would return the deposit. In our letter
to him, which we sent certified mail, we wrote, "this is the end of our six months
lease and we will not be renewing it." He received the letter acknowledged that he
would return the deposit, once he checked the place out. He never disputed our
letter stating "the end of the six months lease." We have all the paper work to
back this up. He has acknowledged that the "term" dates were accidentally left
blank. Will he have to take him to court if he won't return our monies?