Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in New Jersey

Validity of lease

I actually have 2 questions.....

1-I sublease space in a storefront building. My landlord and I each have a copy of the generic commercial lease form we signed but it was never notarized. Is a commercial lease valid if it isn't notarized?

2-The lease says that I will pay a rate of $900 annually in monthly installments. I know this should actually read $900 monthly or $10,800 annually. I have been paying the $900/month for 5 months. Do I have any right to call the error and ask for a refund and then pay only $75/month for the remainder of the lease?

Asked on 9/20/04, 9:08 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Albin Alan S. Albin, Attorney at Law

Re: Validity of lease

You would need to retain an attorney to actually review your lease in order to let you know where you stand.

In general, as to your first question, notarization is not necessary for most contracts to be effective. Notarization is a way of proving the authenticity of a document. Since you do not dispute the authenticity of this lease, it does not seem to be an issue.

As to your second question, if you had a good-faith basis to believe that your rent was actually $75.00/month, then perhaps you might attempt to enforce that. However, you admit that the rent was supposed to be $900/month, that you have in fact been paying $900/month, and that the lease has an apparently obvious typographical error. Let's put it another way: if this went to court, do you really think any judge would let you lease a property that costs $900/month for only $75/month, simply due to a typo, and given that you have acknowledged the actual amount of rent due by paying it for five months? That's probably not a very good bet.

I strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney immediately so that you can explore your legal rights, obligations, and options. If you wish to discuss retaining my services, contact me at:

[email protected]


[Disclaimer: The above comments are not intended as nor should they be relied upon as "legal advice", which can only be obtained by personal consultation with a retained attorney; at which time the specific facts and circumstances of your case can be thoroughly evaluated. This reply is provided for general informational and educational purposes only, and does not create an attorney-client relationship with the responding attorney.]

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Answered on 9/21/04, 9:35 am

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