What to do if my mother co-signed an apartment for me but was evicted 3 years later?

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What to do if my mother co-signed an apartment for me but was evicted 3 years later?

The first 2 years we both signed the lease but that last year only she signed it. They did not redo the lease agreement and after the eviction they put it on both of our credit records. I was unaware of the eviction until 2 years later when i wanted to get my own apartment. I was told by several other property managers that that made the lease void so I was wondering if that was true and how to go about getting it removed from my credit?

Asked on December 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, you can only be held to a written lease if you signed it. If only your mother signed the lease, then normally she would be the only one obligated under it. That said, some leases have an automatic renewal term, so it might have renewed on you; and even if it did not, if the evidence clearly shows you intended to sign, but for some minor reason or another did not get around to actuallyt putting your signature on it, the landlord may have been able to treat you as a party to the lease.

If you believe that you were not a party to the lease, in theory, you should be able to get this off your credit rating--in practice, it is very difficult to get credit history changed. Contact the credit rating agencies; let them know you dispute that you had ever signed that lease and find out their procedures for challenging a report or getting an item removed. The next step after that (if you can't get the item removed) would be suing them and seeking an injunction (court order) requiring them to remove the incorrect information; if you get to that point, you should retain an attorney to help you.


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