Rental Agreement Signed under Duress
When you sign a rental agreement, you`re entering into a legally binding contract with your landlord. This means that both parties are obligated to abide by the terms of the agreement. However, what happens when you sign the rental agreement under duress?
Duress is defined as "threats, violence, constraints, or other actions brought to bear on someone to do something against their will or better judgment." If you sign a rental agreement under duress, it means that you were forced or coerced into signing the agreement. In such a situation, the agreement may not be legally binding or enforceable.
Some examples of duress in the context of a rental agreement include:
Threats of physical violence
If your landlord threatens you with violence unless you sign the rental agreement, this would be considered duress. This type of behavior is illegal, and you should contact the police if you feel that your safety is at risk.
Threats of eviction
If your landlord threatens to evict you if you don`t sign the rental agreement, this could also be considered duress. Your landlord cannot force you to sign a rental agreement under threat of eviction.
Other forms of coercion
Other forms of coercion that could be considered duress include blackmail, extortion, or emotional manipulation. If your landlord uses any of these tactics to get you to sign the rental agreement, it may not be legally binding.
If you believe that you signed a rental agreement under duress, it`s important to seek legal advice. A lawyer can look at the circumstances of your case and determine whether the agreement is legally enforceable.
If the rental agreement is found to be unenforceable, you may have grounds to terminate the agreement and seek damages from your landlord. However, in order to do so, you will need to provide evidence that the agreement was signed under duress.
In conclusion, signing a rental agreement under duress is never acceptable. If you find yourself in this situation, it`s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. By doing so, you can protect your rights and ensure that you`re not unfairly forced into a legally binding contract.