Can a landlord charge first month and last months and a deposit at move-in?

Asked on September 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Once you sign a lease agreement, the landlord cannot now change the amount of security at move-in; otherwise, it would be considered a material breach of the lease and then the lease agreement could possibly be either void or voidable. If there was no meeting of the minds on the amount of security and there was no amount set at signing and then at move-in an amount was given, then this could be considered an addition to the lease (he would say) or you would say that a material term of a complete contract was the security deposit and if this was not set at move-in, then no lease term exists. Now you need to ensure that if the amount is listed in the lease agreement your landlord understands that he would be committing fraud at the very most and a breach of the lease agreement at the very least of this lease.

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