Does resigning my apartment lease under the influence of alcohol void the contract?

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Does resigning my apartment lease under the influence of alcohol void the contract?

My apartment complex held a “re-signing party” at their complex pool and offices. They provided free alcohol, live DJ, and encouraged drinking. The event was free and anyone could attend. My roommate and I attended the event with no intent renewing. After many drinks, one of the leasing agents encouraged us to re-sign. Being under the influence we both once again signed. I’m moving cities and need out of the renewed lease that hasn’t even begun yet. Does being under the influence void the contract? I’m being forced to pay fees, and many can vouch for the alcohol as well as a police noise complaint.

Asked on July 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, being drunk, *unless* it was somehow inflicted or forced on you against your will, will not enable you to void the lease. That's because while a lack of capacity is generally a defense to contractual liability or obligations, that's not the case when the lack of capacity is self-inflicted; if you put yourself in a state or condition where your capacity is impaired, you are nonetheless still responsible for your actions, including any contracts which you signed. That doesn't mean you can't try to get out of the lease by threatening to disclose that they got you drunk to get you to sign--as long as its true, it's not defamation--and maybe they won't want that publicity; but legally, being drunk because you went to a party and voluntarily imbibed is not a defense.


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