If there are 2 names on a lease and the landlord increased the rent after 1 of the tenants signed, is thelease binding if the other tenant refused to sign?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If there are 2 names on a lease and the landlord increased the rent after 1 of the tenants signed, is thelease binding if the other tenant refused to sign?

We (2 unmarried people, both names on the lease) have had an apartment for the past year, and we have payed a $30 pet fee, added to our total rent each month. We went to renew our lease, and were promised a total rent amount, and the landlord and 1 lessee signed the lease. The landlord then mentioned that she “forgot” the pet fee, and needed to add $30 more. The second lessee refused to sign at this point. The landlord insists the lease is binding, at the increased rent amount. On the lease, the original amount is crossed out, and a new amount written beside it (no initials).

Asked on August 3, 2011 North Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, it appears at one point in time there was a lease for a certain period of time (one year or more) that expired under its own terms. The expired lease was attempted to be renewed with a new written document where one named person signed the lease but the other named person did not sign the document due to differences that arose consisting of a rent increase.

If the landlord has not signed the new lease, there is no valid written contract with the landlord and the two tenants as to it. If the landlord and one tenant are the only ones who signed the new lease, the new lease only applies to the tenant who signed it. It is not binding upon the other tenant who did not sign the new document.

Good question.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption