Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Can someone help me with a contract?  (Read 764 times)

gordonma

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 146
  • Cheers
    • AOL Instant Messenger - xikillamikeix
    • View Profile
    • Email
Can someone help me with a contract?
« on: May 27, 2006, 11:38:23 PM »
I posted this same topic in the "Students and Graduates" board, but thought I would drop a line here as well.... hope somebody can help...


"This soon-to-be 1L could use some help from his peers and elders if possible... I will be moving into my new apartment starting June 1st with two other roomates. I would like to draw up a contract basically stating each person will have to pay his share of the rent ($1,550.00/3). One of the guys isnt so reliable, so I could really use an "air-tight" contract in case he decides a few months down the road he wants to skip out on the rent and bills. If someone could draft me up a thorough and legit contract for this... i would be so greatly appreciative. Seeing as how I have yet to start law school and have that wonderful contracts class, this could really help. Thanks again, and to clarify, each person would be responsible for 517.00 in rent plus 1/3 of the bills (gas, electric, cable, internet, phone). Thanks you so much to anyone who can help!

-mike

if more info is needed PM or post"
Seton Hall School of Law 1L come the Fall
Lets go Pirates!

Typhoon Longwang

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
  • I have the power to stop an LSAT!
    • View Profile
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2006, 02:34:50 AM »
I used to be a mediator and I drew up agreements (i.e. contracts) for parties that wanted to settle their conflicts.  This probably isn't the board to ask for a contract but here's my advice...

Talk to your soon-to-be housemates about how they want things to work.  Draw up an agreement in plain English that specifies who, what, when, where, and how (plus what happens if terms of agreement aren't complied with).  Get them to look it over and suggest changes.  Everybody sign it.  Make three copies.  Maybe even make a copy for the landlord so he/she knows what's up.  The place you'd be taking your roommate (if there's a problem) is probably small claims court and most SCC judges will provide some leeway with such a contract (as long as you don't have terms that are illegal).  I'd suggest keeping good records (receipts, bills, bank statements, cancelled checks) if you think you'll end up in front of a judge.  You might also see if you can arrange something with the landlord so that each of you is responsible to the landlord so he/she evicts or goes after your roommate instead of you doing so.


AZWildcat

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 678
  • What LS in San Diego looks like..
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2006, 06:08:01 AM »
Given that liability attaches for giving legal advice, doing so for free is a bad idea.

I'd recommend a trip to a law library and pull up books on lease writing.
USD 2L

Typhoon Longwang

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
  • I have the power to stop an LSAT!
    • View Profile
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2006, 11:41:10 AM »
You probably signed a lease.  Landlords generally use a lease with language that has stood up in court.  Maybe edit that lease to fit your needs and have each one sign it.  One thing to check is that some leases don't a allow subletting...which is sort of what you're doing.  Again, maybe you should just talk to the landlord about having the other two people put on the lease...you might even be able to arrange for everyone to pay rent separately.

tacojohn

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • "I voted. P. Diddy told us to vote"
    • ICQ Messenger - 176834534
    • MSN Messenger - tacojohniu@msn.com
    • AOL Instant Messenger - TacoJohnIU
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - tacojohniu@yahoo.com
    • View Profile
    • Fearfully Optimistic
    • Email
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2006, 08:13:13 AM »
You probably signed a lease.  Landlords generally use a lease with language that has stood up in court.  Maybe edit that lease to fit your needs and have each one sign it.  One thing to check is that some leases don't a allow subletting...which is sort of what you're doing.  Again, maybe you should just talk to the landlord about having the other two people put on the lease...you might even be able to arrange for everyone to pay rent separately.
This is not a sublet, it's a roommate agreement.  It's essentially an indemnity agreement, sound the actions of one roommate lead to legal liability toward the landload, and also prevents one roommate from holding you hostage and threatening to leave, thus forcing you to accept less rent/utilities from him.

Typhoon Longwang

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 763
  • I have the power to stop an LSAT!
    • View Profile
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2006, 11:55:14 AM »
This is not a sublet, it's a roommate agreement.  It's essentially an indemnity agreement, sound the actions of one roommate lead to legal liability toward the landload,

I thought I was suggesting multiple options...one of which was to draw up an agreement stating what the relationship was and the other option was to treat it like he's a sublessor and his roommates are subtenants (and it's not quite the traditional understanding of subletting because he's subdividing the unit).


and also prevents one roommate from holding you hostage and threatening to leave, thus forcing you to accept less rent/utilities from him.

It seems like this could happen whether you have an agreement between roommates or an agreement between sublessor and subtenant.  The big difference in my mind between the two is that if you were held hostage with a sublease you could get the roommate evicted for non-payment of rent and then go to SCC for the rent later.  In fact, in some states if the landlord lives in the same premises as the tenants (e.g. an undivided house) the landlord can request a tenant to leave without cause, so long as the lease has entered a month to month phase.  With an agreement between roommates you couldn't get rid of the hostage-taking roommate.  The disadvantage is that as sublessor you are taking on the responsibilities of a landlord...and I doubt the OP is ready for that kind of work.

AZWildcat

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 678
  • What LS in San Diego looks like..
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2006, 02:45:51 PM »
You probably signed a lease.  Landlords generally use a lease with language that has stood up in court.  Maybe edit that lease to fit your needs and have each one sign it.  One thing to check is that some leases don't a allow subletting...which is sort of what you're doing.  Again, maybe you should just talk to the landlord about having the other two people put on the lease...you might even be able to arrange for everyone to pay rent separately.
This is not a sublet, it's a roommate agreement. 

Whoa... Someone slept through sublet day in property class. :)
USD 2L

tacojohn

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • "I voted. P. Diddy told us to vote"
    • ICQ Messenger - 176834534
    • MSN Messenger - tacojohniu@msn.com
    • AOL Instant Messenger - TacoJohnIU
    • Yahoo Instant Messenger - tacojohniu@yahoo.com
    • View Profile
    • Fearfully Optimistic
    • Email
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2006, 04:23:00 PM »
If this is a sublet, what portion of his possessory right is he transferring to someone?

texas1

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
  • where is the library?
    • View Profile
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2006, 04:27:34 PM »
If this is a sublet, what portion of his possessory right is he transferring to someone?
If he had signed the original lease for the whole apt. then then he could be seen as transferring his right of possession to one of the bedrooms, and his exclusive right of possession to common areas...

AZWildcat

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 678
  • What LS in San Diego looks like..
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Can someone help me with a contract?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2006, 08:08:32 PM »
If this is a sublet, what portion of his possessory right is he transferring to someone?
If he had signed the original lease for the whole apt. then then he could be seen as transferring his right of possession to one of the bedrooms, and his exclusive right of possession to common areas...

Exactly right. 
USD 2L