When does a sublease become legally binding?

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When does a sublease become legally binding?

When the tenant signs it, both parties sign, or when tenant receives a signed copy?Subtenant backed out or a lease after signing the contract and paying rent. They cancelled the check because they did not receive a signed copy on the day they wanted to cancel the lease, although it was already signed by both parties.

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract as between two parties.  In your case, you have taken the position of being the landlord to the sub-tenant.  First, please make sure that your lease with the owner/landlord allows you to sublet the premises.  If it does not then your sublease is not going to be honored and would most likely be void.

Generally, a contract is valid when it is signed by "the party to be charged."  If they signed it then it is a valid contract.  Check local ordinances regarding obligations of landlords to give copies of leases and if there is an impact on your situation here that would allow cancellation.  Massachusetts has odd property laws.  Otherwise, you have many issues to discuss with an attorney: breach of the lease and passing a bad check.


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