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Interpret this lease

Kassandra RPM Alaska

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Today I had to review a lease that had a lot of conflicting words. This landlord did download the TLA lease version but made several edits and didn't realize that the "edits" became a heated dispute about the end date of the lease.  Tenant gave notice on 9/24 to be out 11/08 but wants out 10/31.  So what date do you charge to?  10/31? 11/08? 11/30?

Here are the words on the signed lease: 

-Entered into an agreement on 11/08/2017.

- TERM: The premises are rented on a month-to-month tenancy with until either party gives a 30-day notice before the rental due date of a termination of this agreement. (Dates were removed to say Month to Month)

- RENT: The Resident(s) agree to pay rent in the amount of xxx per month.   (The Deadline of the rent due was removed.)

- BUILDING/UNIT TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Unit is new with no previous occupants, 12-month lease, resident pays for gas, electric and a flat fee for water/sewer in the amount of $75.00. (...ugh.....Umm....??...They Left utility section blank)

- TERMINATION: This rental agreement shall be automatically renewed on a month to month basis.  This agreement can be terminated if:........



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Any time you start tweaking a contract you are likely to run into trouble. Have the edits changed the intent of the contract? Have you eliminated the protection that the original contract provided you? To be safe, have that contract reviewed by an attorney to make sure that you are okay. I submitted a lease agreement to my provider law firm that was a mish mash of his trailer court rental, his apartment rental, etc. Even I didn't think it held water but I sent it on to the attorney. It didn't pass muster. I was advised I could sign it but the agreement wouldn't hold water if the landlord wanted to enforce it. I decided that I would keep looking for another place to live. I provide affordable legal advice services for small business owners which includes landlords. You pay an affordable monthly membership versus an hourly rate. You have access to the entire law firm for unlimited advice including contract review among other things. I like to tell my clients that if you do not know what your rights are, you have none. That's really not a good place to be. I like to be able to empower people.

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