Does a tenant have a copy of the signedfor it to be effective?

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Does a tenant have a copy of the signedfor it to be effective?

Isn’t me not having a copy of the lease I signed a breach of contract of some sort? That wouldn’t be fair if my landlord could hold me responsible for the a lease they said they would give me a copy of and 2 months into the lease, still haven’t.

Asked on October 27, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The lease has to be signed by you for it to be effective against you. The fact that you do not have a copy may or may not matter under the law in your state.  But you have every right to demand it.  Not having it does not necessarily constitute a breach unless the lease so states or again, the law in your state so states.  I am siding on the side of no breach.  But I would indeed check out what your options are here.  I would never ever sign again without getting a copy right then and there.  Try this: send a letter to your landlord indicating that you have repeatedly requested a copy of the signed lease and you have been patient but that he or she has not complied.  Ask that you receive a copy within 10 days or you will seek advice from an attorney as to you options here. Then do so if you do not get it.  Good luck.


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