What to do if I’m being asked to falsify a lease on order to establish residency in a school district?

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What to do if I’m being asked to falsify a lease on order to establish residency in a school district?

A friend has a granddaughter whose single father (my friend’s son) lives outside my school district and he wants his granddaughter to go to the high school in my district. He is asking me if I will sign a lease to his son for our residence so he can claim he lives in our district. What risks and precautions should I take if I do this? Am I at risk for criminal fraud in any way? What conditions should I have in the lease so he can’t kick me out of our residence?

Asked on August 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) If you do this you are committing fraud and could face both civil and criminal liabilities.

2) If you sign a lease, then you will be limited your ability to evict the father, such as if you decide you  simply don't want him there. You could only evict for good cause, such as nonpayment of any rent in the lease, continued violation of terms of the lease, continued disturbance of the peace after notice to stop; etc. He won't be able to evict you as his landlord (the person leasing to him), but you will be giving up some control over your own space--for example, you may have to let him live with you.

This is a very bad idea. IF you would not mind renting or leasing space to him, then actually rent or lease that space to him--including having him pay fair market rent. But do not create a sham lease, and do not execute a lease if you are unwilling to actually be his landlord and have him be your tenant.


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