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"Lease Not Effective Until Executed"

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"Lease Not Effective Until Executed"

Postby pssm_1995 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:44 pm

I'm I'm hoping to get some clarification on a specific line that I've seen in lease agreements.

The lease agreement states:

"Lease Not Effective Until Executed: The submission of this lease for examination does not constitute a reservation of or option for the demised premises and this lease becomes effective as a lease on upon execution thereof by Landlord to Tenant."

I'm mostly curious about the "by Landlord to Tenant" part. Does this phrasing mean that the Landlord must sign and return the lease for it to be binding, or is there a grey area?
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Re: "Lease Not Effective Until Executed"

Postby TenantNet » Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:41 am

Well, we're not contract specialists. If it's a real issue, I'd consult with a tenant attorney. In many cases, whether something is binding or not is a case-by-case situation where everything must be considered.

If you research leases or contracts, you will see there are three parts: offer (by the LL), acceptance (by the tenant) and execution (signing the accepted offer, by the LL, and an original copy returned to the tenant). The provision about which you are inquiring states that the final element must have occurred.

Generally, in leases, or in any contracts, they must be executed to be binding.

In some situations, such as rent stabilized renewals, a landlord's offer is considered binding, although some might not agree with that.

There are even exceptions I can think of, such as real estate term sheets, but those might refer to sales, not leases.

If a tenant went ahead and moved in pre-lease execution, it could be argued that the final element was accepted/executed by implication, or waived by the LL.

I tend to think there are grey areas, but it depends on everything particular to a case.
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Re: "Lease Not Effective Until Executed"

Postby pssm_1995 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 1:29 pm

In this case, the tenant is a attempting to terminate a lease renewal where the LL did not return a countersigned lease in over 90 days. LL has still has not responded to the tenant's requests made via certified mail over 30 days ago for a dated, countersigned agreement.

The lease renewal in question is for an unregulated, market-rate apartment, however, and they have been living in the apartment for 4 months since the conclusion of their original lease term.

I've seen in the latest NYC tenant rights guide that LLs are obligated to return a countersigned agreements to tenants within 30 days for rent-stabilized apartments, but haven't seen anything definitive for non-stabilized apartments.

Seems like there is a grey area with this and I'm unclear as to what the LL's legal options would be, if they choose to respond after 30 days of receiving the notice from the tenant, and that tenant has already vacated the apartment and signed a new lease elsewhere.
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Re: "Lease Not Effective Until Executed"

Postby TenantNet » Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:02 pm

Please answer these questions:

Are you not the tenant? You say the LL has not replied to the request for the executed lease, correct?

You say they have "held over" past the expiration of the last lease. Have they paid rent at the same level as before (or was the rent increased?) Has the LL accepted rent (i.e., not returned it)?

What latest right guide are you referring to?
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Re: "Lease Not Effective Until Executed"

Postby pssm_1995 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:02 pm

I am the tenant.

When I was going through the process of extending my lease, the person at the LL office who was supposed to get the agreement countersigned and return it to me left the company before confirming that it had been countersigned and sending a copy back to me.

I have been trying to contact the LL for several weeks via certified mail, phone and email regarding this, and so far, they have failed to share a countersigned agreement.

My rent was increased in the lease extension, which I unfortunately did not negotiate. Several new tenants have moved in my building recently and are paying rent that is almost 30% less per than month that what I'm currently paying. I'm hoping to find a way to terminate the agreement.

I'm current on my rent payments at the new rate, and my payments have not been returned to me by the LL.

For Tenant's rights, I'm referring to this document:
https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/t ... rights.pdf

Page 13:
"After the notice of renewal is given, the tenant has 60 days in which to accept. If the tenant
does not accept the renewal offer within the prescribed time, the landlord may refuse to renew the lease and seek to evict the tenant through court proceedings. If the tenant accepts the renewal offer, the landlord has 30 days to return the fully executed lease to the tenant. "
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Re: "Lease Not Effective Until Executed"

Postby TenantNet » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:14 pm

Person left the company ... how many times have I heard that one. That does not excuse the LL not responding to your mail.

Rent increases, well that could be an issue with a RS lease, but no so much here. Still, you should pay the old rent until you get a lease

That other tenants are paying less, well that's legally irrelevant. But it can be open for negotiations.

When a lease expires, and if you continue to reside there, the LL can can accept rent or move to evict you. If the former, then that creates a month-to-month lease at the current rent.

I would pay the next month, but taking away any rent amounts over the old amount. If the old rent was $100, and you paid $110 for January and February, then I would pay $80 for March and $100 for any further months until this is resolved. Without a lease, the rent does not go up.

Yes, LLs must return an executed lease, but not much will enforce that.
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