If I signed an addendum with the lease to pay for repairs and painting that conflicts with statestatutes, am I still liable?

Asked on September 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Any contract, including a lease, cannot be to do something illegal (against the criminal code)--so, for example, a lease cannot state that a home is to be used for prostitution or drug dealing. However, it is persmissible to modify by contract the rights of the parties (landlord and tenant) so long as criminal law is not violated or certain other rights which the law specifically says may not be modified are not changed. Example: it is legal for a lease to indicate that a tenant would be responsible for all structural repairs, even though a landlord usually is; or that the tenant will pay to paint the premises after the lease is over, though the landlord generally does this. This sort of modification of who pays for what is permissible.

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