Can you be sued for non-payment of rent if you never signed a lease?

We invested in our daughter’s business by paying for the office/lease of her home. The lease was always in her name. We stopped payments when the house was unlivable due to lack of care by the landlord. Bad water, leaking roof and water in the house. Mold. Furnace out in winter. A new furnace was put in but it was a cold winter. Leaking oil tank still in the ground. When they showed no signs of repairing the roof, we stopped payment in June. The found a contractor then. Just received threatening letter from them wanting money. Daughter has moved out.

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you neither were parties to the lease (i.e. weren't signatories to it) and also did not guaranty the payments under the lease, then you would not normally be liable under the lease. If you were actually partners in the business with your daughter, and the business was a partnership (not LLC or corporation), then it is possible that if the property leased in the business's name (even if the lease was signed by your daughter), that you could be held liable. However, if it was an LLC or corporation, you would not be; or if you had invested money (such as by loaning it or making payments to her) but were not actually owners of the business, then you should only be liable if you had either signed the lease and/or guaranteed her obligations.

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