Can an addendum to a lease be required to be signed well after the lease has been signed?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2011

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Can an addendum to a lease be required to be signed well after the lease has been signed?

My landlord recently issued an addendum to all tenants regarding: bed bugs, and requiring all tenants to acquire $50K oflLiability coverage (signature and compliance are requested). Is an addendums to a lease legal if it’s not attached at the time ofsigniong the lease? It also contains verbiage that if not signed, it’s grounds for eviction. Neither of these would seem legal to me.

Asked on January 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; it's terms are binding on both parties for the duration of the lease (e.g. for one year, if it's a typical one-year lease). That means that neither party can add new terms or requirements to it mid-stream, unless and only to the extent that  the lease reserved the right or ability to make certain amendments or modifications to it. Without that reservation of the ability to amend, the landlord needs to wait until the current lease is up; at that point, however, he may add new terms or requirements (like the insurance) the lease and if the teannt does not like it, the tenant's option is to not sign the new lease and move out.

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