Author Topic: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?  (Read 2756 times)

Bearded Man

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The lease renewal has the date at the beginning of the lease, and I signed and dated it as well. I noticed the tenant signed but did not date. This worries me a bit as it is a technicality. I hate to bother my tenants but do you think I should ask her to date it? Not a big ask IMO.

Cathy

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Re: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 11:33:58 AM »
In Washington, there is no specific requirement that a one-year lease of residential property be dated or signed by the tenant. The function of the signature and date section at the end of the document is basically for the parties to indicate their unambiguous assent to the document. The failure of the tenant to date her signature would only matter if that failure cast into doubt whether she intended to be bound by the agreement. If the tenant takes advantage of the lease after having signed it, i.e. by residing in the property, it will be especially hard for her to argue that she did not intend to be bound by it.

The rules for the initial collection of a security deposit at the "commencement of the tenancy" are stricter, however. A security deposit cannot be collected unless the "checklist or statement" describing the premises is "signed and dated by the landlord and the tenant". If those requirements are not complied with before the landlord collects a security deposit, the tenant can sue to recover the security deposit plus costs and attorney's fees. RCW 59.18.260.

As usual, this is just general information that may not apply to your specific fact pattern and you should retain counsel for advice specific to your situation. Also, this information is specific to Washington and the law on this topic is considerably different among the various US states.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 09:40:32 PM by Cathy »

Cathy

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Re: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 10:14:54 PM »
Here's a Washington authority that I just located that bolsters the information in my earlier post:

"[I]t is not essential to the validity of a lease that it be signed by the lessee, providing the lessee accepted the lease and acts thereunder, which acceptance is generally shown by taking possession or the payment of rent." Starwich v. Washington Cut Glass Co., 64 Wash. 42, 45 (Wa Ct App 1911) (emphasis added).

Given that the lessee is not even required to sign the lease, it seems unlikely that a signature not being dated would be a problem, although the caveats in the last paragraph of the previous post still apply.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 10:30:37 PM by Cathy »

Bearded Man

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Re: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 10:34:52 PM »
Great info, thanks.

Bearded Man

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Re: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2015, 10:48:50 PM »
I'm curious, do you use Lexus_Nexus for case law review? If not, what do you use and does one have to be an attorney to access it or is it strictly a monthly fee to play?

Cathy

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Re: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2015, 10:55:16 PM »
I personally do have access to LexisNexis but you should be able to do similar research without it. All Washington appellate case law from 1854 to present is available online and the courts themselves provide a search engine. The hard part is knowing what to search for. If you want to find how courts have interpreted a statute, you can search for the statutory number, but for some extra fun, Washington has used several different compilations of statutes over the years, so you have to consult, e.g., this table to convert the numbers for older cases. Legal research is a fair amount of work. You're always going to end up reading a lot of cases that turn out to be irrelevant before finding one that is on point. So you should expect that in advance.

With landlord and tenant issues, not everything is explicitly written in the statutes, so it can be even harder to find what you want because there isn't necessarily a specific statutory reference that you can search for; instead, you basically have to know what kind of terms the court will use, which requires a general background knowledge of law. There's not really an easy solution to that, but as you learn more law, it becomes progressively easier to find what you want in general. You're probably not just going to be able to jump right in and find everything you want, but if you put your mind to it, you can learn these skills if you want to. I hope that is of some assistance.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2015, 11:12:33 PM by Cathy »

jinga nation

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Re: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 11:14:11 AM »
I'm curious, do you use Lexus_Nexus for case law review? If not, what do you use and does one have to be an attorney to access it or is it strictly a monthly fee to play?

Your local library system or your local college/university library may have access to LexisNexus

Bearded Man

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Re: Tenant forgot to date the lease renewal; email her asking to date it?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2015, 01:07:16 AM »
Thanks I'll check it out. I also found out you can use Google Scholar to search case law as well. Works well.