Can a dealership tear up a signed lease agreement a dayafter it was signedand then ask for a joint lessee?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a dealership tear up a signed lease agreement a dayafter it was signedand then ask for a joint lessee?

My wife is leasing a car. Credit check /paperwork, including a signed lease agreement, was completed in her name. She was told all was complete, all she had to do was drop by to pick up the keys after they washed it. Upon arrival we suddenly were told that the dealership needed to add my info and all lease agreement documents would have to be started over as joint-lessees. This was to “ensure that the rates wouldn’t increase”. Since an agreement was already signed, does this pass the smell test?

Asked on July 2, 2011 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; once signed, it binds both parties. One party--the dealership--can't unilaterally change it's terms or "tear up" the lease; doing so is breach of contract, and you could bring a legal action to enforce the contract and/or seek damages (compensation).

If there was a contingency in the contract which was not met--e.g. you had to qualify for certain financing, which you did not--that would be a different story; the failure to meet the contingency could void the lease. Or if you gave false information, that would also allow them to void it. But otherwise, it seems from what you write that the dealership would have to honor the lease; they could suggest a different lease or adding your wife, but can't require it.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption