Is there anyway I don’t have to pay the fine for breaking my lease if there are mistakes in it?

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Is there anyway I don’t have to pay the fine for breaking my lease if there are mistakes in it?

I am being fined $3,000 for breaking my lease early. It was only supposed to be a 6 month lease but she gave us the papers for a year. All the dates are wrong on the lease. For example, she said I moved in January 1st of last year when I moved in January 8th of this year. Also, our names our spelled wrong.

Asked on June 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, mispellings of names has *no* effect whatsover on the validity or enforceability of a lease.

Second, the issue is what did you and the landlord agree to? You say that it was "supposed" to be a 6-month lease, but that the papers were for a year. While courts will enforce a lease (or other contract) according to the intentions of the parties, in this case, it would likely appear to a court that you agreed to a year lease...after all, you apparently signed a year lease. If the dates were wrong on the lease, you should not have signed it in the first place, until they were correct. If instead you signed a lease for one year, the presumption is that's what you intended, and it would be very difficult to overturn that--you'd have to show, for example, that the landlord committed fraud in some way, such as by leaving the dates blank, promising to fill them in for 6 months, and then actually filing them in for one year when you had no chance or opportunity to catch that.


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