Is my joint lease agreement valid if one party does not sign the lease at all?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2012

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Is my joint lease agreement valid if one party does not sign the lease at all?

I originally negotiated terms of a rental property but my roommate did not sign the lease. I put down the first month’s rent and deposit but the property was unable to provide the agreed upon changes before our scheduled move in date. Therefore, we decided not to take the place and requested our complete deposit and first month’s rent back. The management company has decided to charge us for the 4 days they took the apartment off the market (despite the other available units on premises). Is this legal in the state and is this lease even binding if the second party did not sign it?

Asked on August 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, only the parties who signed the written agreement are bound to it. If you and your roommate both did not sign it then you are not obligated under it. If you signed the agreement and the landlord signed it, then you are obligated under it.

If no one signed the written lease then you are entitled to all of the money that you placed on deposit with the landlord including the four (4) day charge.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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