Does an incorrect date on a lease make it void?

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Does an incorrect date on a lease make it void?

My friend signed a rental lease. It clearly states the rental year begins 12/1/10 and ends 11/30/10. My friend does not wish to rent this apartment due to non-disclosure by the landlord regarding the noise level and lack of tenant parking. My friend was rushed into signing the lease before reading it. The landlord wanted to submit the lease to the Housing Authority before Thanksgiving. It would appear the Housing Authority also overlooked this discrepancy on the lease.

Asked on December 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) The error on the date is irrelevant. Courts and the legal system are not slaves to typos on contracts and leases. From the context, it's clear that the ending date was intended to 11/30/11 and that's how it will be interpreted and enforced.

2) IF the landlord lied about parking or noise--e.g. your friend asked questions about them and received a false answer, or the marketing, etc. materials for the premises were deceptive--then your friend would likely have good grounds to rescind (get out of) the lease on grounds of fraud. However, if there was no misrepresenation, or lie, then that's probably not the case--a landlord is not necessarily required to say anything about tenant parking if the prospective tenant does not ask, for example.

3) Being "rushed" to sign the lease is also irrelevant; your friend could have said "no--I need time to review it." The landlord could not force him or her to sign without reading; worst case, the friend could have walked away from this deal if he or she felt pressured or felt something was off about it. The friend chose to not read the lease first, but the law does not protect people from choosing to not take the time to review documents.


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