Can a landlord threaten a tenant to sign a lease?

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Can a landlord threaten a tenant to sign a lease?

My landlord came by threatening me to sign a lease. He had a pitbull with him knowing that I am terrified of dogs. My landlord is a big man and I am a single female. He said that it was for his protection. He had his phone up recording me. How legal is this?

Asked on June 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you can not threaten anyone any time.  Using a threat to force some one to sign a leanse would make that lease void or voidable.  That is coersion and signing a contract such as a lease under those circumstances -duress - would render the lease void or voidable.  Your landlord should evict you if you are a month to month tenant and he wants a lease signed and you won't.  But I think you may want to find some where else if he is like this to deal with.  And think about reporting it.  Good luck.


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