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Can a landlord change the terms of my lease without my signature?

1 Answers. Asked on Jul 10th, 2012 on Breach of Contract - Illinois
More details to this question:
I signed a year lease, then renewed with a rental increase. At the end of that lease, I requested 2 extra months & the landlord agreed. She simply crossed out the end date and wrote the new end date on my last signed lease. She expressly said rent was the same as my lease. I moved out just as the complex was sold to another firm. After 41 days I had not received my security deposit. I had cleaned, vacuumed and washed windows before leaving. The place was cleaner than when I moved in. Upon calling for my security deposit, the new landlords told me 3 times someone would call me but no one did. I finally spoke to someone today who says they are keeping my deposit because 1) they had to clean, 2) my record indicates late rental payments (this is not true. I paid each month ON THE FIRST AS DIRECTED BY MY LEASE) 3) Non-payment of rent. They claim rent went up for the month to month lease and I hadn''t paid enough. I signed nothing. I would have moved home had I known.
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Licenced in NY
Answered on Jul 10th, 2012 at 4:53 PM

The simple answer is no.  The landlord cannot change the terms of your lease without your consent.  The landlord could have demanded that you pay increased rent in order to extend the term of your lease, but did not do so.  The landlord's action of simply changing the date on your lease indicates an agreement that the terms of your lease would remain the same during the extended period of your tenancy.  Thus, assuming that your landlord does not dispute the events as you recite them, you should be able to get your security deposit back.  In the real world, however, it is likely that the landlord will dispute your account, and a court will have to decide which of you is telling the truth.

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Breach of Contract
A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two parties. When you enter into a contract, you do it in good faith and expecting that the other party will meet its legal obligations. But if that fails to occur, you or your business may have grounds for a breach of contract lawsuit against the other party. If successful, you may be awarded damages, or compensation for your losses and expenses in connection with the breached contract. The court can also rescind the contract or order the party that breached the contract to fulfill its obligations. If you're party to a breached contract--whether you've been accused of a breach or are trying to compel the other side to perform its duties--you need to hire an attorney who has experience with personal, professional and/or commercial contractual disputes.
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