Can our landlord claim we have violated my wife’s lease agreement if I moved in without their permission?

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Can our landlord claim we have violated my wife’s lease agreement if I moved in without their permission?

My wife and I were separated last year when she signed a lease for a townhouse that defines the occupants only as her, unless written consent of the landlord is obtained. My wife and I have now reconciled and I moved in with her, immediately after which I met the landlord due to an issue with the garage door. I explained that we were back together. Now, months later, they want to make an issue out of the fact that my wife did not get their written permission for me to reside in the dwelling. Can we be seen as breaching the contract?

Asked on August 11, 2011 Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Written leases signed by the landlord and tenant over the rented unit typically control the obligations between the two absent state law to the contrary. Your wife signed a rental agreement stating that the sole occupant for the unit would be her unless the landlord consents to additional occupants in the unit.

The purpose of this "consent" clause as in many leases is for safety purposes in that many landlords do not want a situation that a rented unit is "over-populated" with too many tenants.

It is always conceivable that a sole tenant who rents a unit may decide to get married during the lease's term or have his or her "significant other" move in before the lease expires.

The landlord could claim that your wife technically violated the lease's terms without obtaining his or her permission for you to move in first. However, given the circumstances that you as her husband are moving into the unit only, for the landlord to claim a major breach of the lease agreement and prove it seems very remote.

Good luck.

 


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