Should a tenant have to sign2 conflicting leases for the same rental?

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Should a tenant have to sign2 conflicting leases for the same rental?

I got approval for a single family home rental through a rental agent (realtor). When she sent me the lease agreements, she said I had to sign two separate leases. 1 for the owners but another 1 for her. Both are completely different. How can there be 2 separate leases if I’m going through a rental agency? Also on the lease, they have 2 different rent amounts. She told me that is because in CA landords cant sue for late payments in the case of an eviction so they put it as my rent is $1200 not $950 as agreed. (just in case they have to evict me) Is that illegal? There are so many differences with these leases .. one says rent is due on the 5th, but its late if they receive it on the 4th. and they will charge me $250 per day until its paid. But my due date is the 5th?

Asked on January 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have a good sense of right and wrong and seeing the red flags that go up.   DO NOT sign both leases and bring them to someone to review.  The landlord is trying to get around the law regarding late payments and that is definitely not permitted.  Also, he or she is setting the stage for you to be liable for more than the agreed upon price in rent.  And the contradictory terms will have your head spinning as without a doubt is buying you a lawsuit.  It may not even be worth trying to sort things out with this bunch.  It may be best to find a new place with a reputable landlord and broker.  And I might consider reporting both to the appropriate agencies.  Good luck to you.


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