Salt Lake City, UT asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Can an email from the apartment management company be used as a replacement for a concession rider?

I recently signed a lease with a company for an apartment. The company is not the landlord of the apartment. They basically lease the apartment from the actual owner, then lease the apartment back to individual renters like me. The whole process happened on the phone and online.

The company offered a free 4 months rent concession as part of the lease term. However, the concession was not stated in the actual lease, but instead included on a detailed email from a director of the company. The email spelled out all the details of the concession, and has the director's name and company's contact info. The company said they had to do it that way because of some logistical issue on their end. I signed the lease.

Could an email be good enough to replace the common paper concession/rider ? Can I back out of the lease now, if the countersigned lease they send back a couple days from now does not have that concession ? Can I use the email against them in court if they don't uphold it later?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Signing a contract/lease with different terms than have been previously represented is never a good idea. Generally, if a lease has not yet been executed by both parties, it is not considered a binding contract yet.

Instead of worrying about whether the concessions will actually be honored, you may be able to revoke your offer to accept the lease terms by communicating this before a fully signed lease is returned to you.

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