I have a lease that is dated incorrectly, can I get out of the lease?

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I have a lease that is dated incorrectly, can I get out of the lease?

It was dated for 11 months and 2 weeks instead of 1 year.

Asked on October 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, this sort of error will not invalidate or void the entire lease. Instead, one of the following two things will happen:

If it is otherwise clear by the lease and/or from the surrounding circumstances (as shown, for example, by a rental application, emails, etc.) that it was meant to be a one-year lease, a court would correct ("reform") the error and enforce it as a one-year lease.

If there is not good evidence that it was really a one-year lease, it may instead be enforced for the period stated in the lease--that is, for 11 months, 2 weeks. You could in that case likely leave 2 weeks early.

However, since the norm is a one-year lease, I suspect that unless there was actually either evidence it was meant to be a 11 month 2 week lease or some plausible reason you negotiated to such an odd date, that a court would enforce it as a one-year lease, concluding that was what you and the landlord intended.


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