Is our lease voidable from the tenants side if only 2 of the 3 tenants signed the lease?

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Is our lease voidable from the tenants side if only 2 of the 3 tenants signed the lease?

2 possible tenants signed and submitted a lease while the 3rd did not sign and submit but is no longer going to live with us. Can our landlord still enforce the lease between the 2 tenants who submitted the lease?

Asked on August 3, 2011 Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If two of the tenants signed, then the lease is most likely enforceable against them--they have agreed to the lease and accepted the offer to rent the premises.

The exception would be if something in the lease itself, or *possibly* in other corresondence (e.g. emails) made clear that the tenants would only agree to lease if all three of them signed. If there is such a term in the lease, it is clearly enforceable. If it's not in the lease but only in collateral or ancillary documents or correspondence, it might be possible to get a court to take cognizanze of it, but the odds are against it: the courts generally do not look beyond the four corners of the lease or contract, unless there is some ambiguity to resolve.


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