Legal advice

Discussion in 'Horn Depot' started by Sangre Naranjada, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada 10,000+ Posts

    My son is attempting to lease his first apartment in Denton along with 3 other roommates. All are engineering students (not that it is germane to this discussion) and all are well over 18 years of age but not all are 21. So I get a "Lease Contract Guaranty" form that he asks me to sign. After reading it I am about as willing to sign this document as I am to have my balls pounded flat with a wooden mallet.I am copying language from the document and would appreciate any lawyers who are willing to glance at it and tell me whether or not my reservations are justified. This is a standard TAA form, apparently. I trust the TAA about as much as I would trust an aggy with my favorite ewe.

  2. Uninformed

    Uninformed 5,000+ Posts

    No legal advice, but it does appear that you are reading the document correctly. Although I doubt it will do any good as the housing market in Austin is tight, you can tell the leasing company your concerns and see if it is willing to amend the document.
  3. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada 10,000+ Posts

    It's Denton, not Austin, but I understand the point.
  4. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Full disclosure - I've never handled a case involving landlord-tenant disputes whether they involved the lease or not. I have signed a lease before, and my father did guarantee my lease.

    Having said that, if you sign this, you better trust that your son and his buddies will not only pay their rent for the entire duration of being in that apartment but also be model tenants as well. I don't know if what they're asking you to sign is "standard" TAA language or not, but it is extremely onerous, and I wouldn't get anywhere near it.

  5. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada 10,000+ Posts

    Son says each of them will be named individually on separate leases, and therefore I would only be guaranteeing his part of the damages, etc. Apparently each of the roommates must have a parent sign this form. I still don't see how that would get me off the hook for roomate #2's indiscretions. Even if they are model tenants, how do you determine who was responsible for fees associated with normal wear and tear, let alone puked on or pissed on carpeting, etc.?
  6. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    SN, I'll give you more info tomorrow. (I'm 7 hours ahead of you and have a 9-month pregnant wife, so we're getting to bed early tonight.) My answer is still the same. It's a bad deal, and you could still be on the hook for the roommates.
  7. Dionysus

    Dionysus Admin Admin

    My legal analysis: f**khead that.
  8. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    I agree with Dionysus' learned analysis. Having separate leases doesn't necessarily solve your dilemma. In the text you posted, it refers to you being jointly and severally liable with ALL residents twice. In the third instance, it refers to you "guarantee[ing] all obligations of all resident(s) under the above Lease Contract . . ."

    Will the court read those three clauses to mean that you're generally agreeing to guarantee the obligations of your son (the sole resident under the above contract) or as two separate obligations - one in which you individually guarantee your son's obligations and another in which you agree to joint and several liability for all residents?

    If a dispute turns into a lawsuit, you'll be in front of a Republican civil judge. When he practiced law, he most likely represented business interests or was a prosecutor. Most likely, he has never represented an individual in his life. Furthermore, he probably gets campaign money from his old law firm and/or from local Republicans (primarily business owners). Who's he going to identify with? An apartment complex (the type of client that used to hire his firm and currently donates to his campaign) or you? Do the math.
  9. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada 10,000+ Posts

    Told my son yesterday to read this thread, which he did. Then I told him I trust him and his choice of friends, but no way do I trust some apartment manager who may be all smiles before a lease is signed; what will he be like after he has the contract? I think the best option is to look for an apartment (or duplex, house, etc.) that doesn't require signing this type of form, and that I would help with the search if he wants.

    Or staying in the dorm is not a bad choice either. We shall see what he decides to do.
  10. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    I think you handled it like a shrewd man and a good dad.
  11. OrangeChipper

    OrangeChipper 1,000+ Posts

    insurance agent here. Ummmm. from my perspective this isnt a huge deal.

    Very common actually

    Why can't you just get renters insurance? A basic renters insurance policy will run you under $200.00 for the year and you can get roughly 500,000 worth of liability coverage. We have folks come in all the time that have their apt complex require THEY get renters coverage.

    More than likely the apt complex DOES have its own liability insurance as well, its just that they dont want to cover every little claim. So if your sons (300k or 500k) liability policy is exhausted... then and only then would they be on the hook.... Which would be rarely if ever.

    So check into renters insurance It will protect your son from theft, fire, faulty appliances etc AND provide some liability.

    Just my feeble 2 cents. I mean really... can you imagine your son having more than 500K worth of liability anyway? Wouldn't about 18/month mitigate that enough for you anyway? PM me if you need a firm quote.
  12. Sangre Naranjada

    Sangre Naranjada 10,000+ Posts

    Thanks for the offer, Chipper. I am aware of renters insurance; I used to be a P&C agent myself. Renters insurance won't pay for damages to the building (real or ginned-up). Renters insurance won't pay if tenant A skips out leaving tenant B, C, and D holding the bag for increased rent. Renters insurance won't pay for

  13. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 5,000+ Posts

  14. pasotex

    pasotex 2,500+ Posts

    I wonder if it was negotiable.

    My partnership guarantee only guaranteed my percentage of the debt. Of course, the negotiating positions were significantly different. It sounds like you would have agreed to guarantee your son's one quarter.

    I probably would have signed it, but you were reading it correctly and your concerns were very legitimate.

    Legally, the landlord's verbal representations might have been enforceable in the event of a dispute under the DTPA. Practically, you do not want it to come to that and a writing along with a lying landlord can be a royal and expensive pain in the ***.

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