If my previous landlord altered my lease to include a “lease renewal clause” of a year after the lease ended, how can I fight this?

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If my previous landlord altered my lease to include a “lease renewal clause” of a year after the lease ended, how can I fight this?

When my lease ended in 15 months ago, I was on a month-to-month. I provided a 60-day notice and moved out 8 months later. I am just now being contacted by a collection agency and they sent me a copy of my lease that was obviously altered. The original lease, I initialed the first page and this “altered” lease does not have my initials. What can I do? I am unable to find the original lease. My landlord is attempting to charge me $1600 for a broken lease and I moved out of state.

Asked on January 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the altered lease which is solely a copy does not have your initials upon it signifying that you agreed to the change that seems to have occurred after the lease was entered into by you where your former landlord is attempting to charge you $1,600 for a broken lease, I suggest that you write the landlord about the situation and request that he terminate all collection efforts as to you. Keep a copy of the letter for future use and need.

I find it interesting that when you moved out the landlord did not make a claim that you owed him $1,600 under the lease that you are writing about. If you get sued by the collection agency that you defend the lawsuit on the grounds that the lease renewal clause in the lease was never agreed to by you.


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