What to do if the apartment price per month on my rental application is different (higher) than the rental price noted on the lease I signed?

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What to do if the apartment price per month on my rental application is different (higher) than the rental price noted on the lease I signed?

My landlord is now telling me to change my lease to the higher price noted on my application. Am I obligated to do that? What are my options?

Asked on September 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Normally, the plain terms of a contract--such as the rent on a lease--will control, and neither party may change them without the consent, or agreement, of the other. However, the courts will not enforce an obvious error on a contract; if it can be shown that the parties intended something other than what is written, but that a typo or clerical error was made on the contract, courts may instead enforce the terms--or rent--that the parties had in fact agreed to, not the incorrec terms or number on the contract. In a case like this, if there is a written rental application which shows the rent that the landlord intended to charge and you intended to pay, there is a very good chance a court would "reform" the contract to that amount. Therefore, while it's not certain the landlord would win in court, there is a reasonable chance it would; be guided by that in deciding whether to fight this change or not.


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