Lease AFTER moving in?
October 27, 2009 9:58 AM   Subscribe

New York City apartment question: Is it normal for my broker to tell me I will receive hard copies of my lease a "couple of weeks" after moving in?

I found an apartment with a November 1st move in date in New York City. Everything was going well and I received two copies of the lease to review and sign. Initially I was told one copy of the lease would be returned to me within about 48 hours, signed by the management company. Now I am being told I should move in on the 1st and wait for a copy to be mailed to me within a couple of weeks.

Is this normal? It makes me feel very uncomfortable. Both the broker company and the landlord are large well known companies in the NYC area. Is there any law I can quote on this? What else should I do, besides getting everything in writing?
posted by 2bucksplus to Law & Government (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I don't know if it's normal, but this happened with both of the places I have rented in NYC. So I wouldn't worry too much about it, especially if you've signed the lease (which stated the move-in date on it, right?). A great resource for renters in NYC is here, too, for future reference.
posted by Grither at 10:09 AM on October 27, 2009

Response by poster: I did sign the lease, and it had the move in date on it. I however gave both copies to be signed, assuming they would be returned. Now all I have is a new tenant "cheat sheet" that gives the super's number, etc.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:13 AM on October 27, 2009

Best answer: It's happened for the last two places I rented in NYC. In fact, I had to call many times most recently to get the executed lease in my hand - they were willing to scan and email me a copy but apparently the snafu was in the delivery by way of my super. (I got it last week. I moved in last February. They've been pretty responsive otherwise, just silly on this one subject.)

When I looked into my options early on it seems that the lease is binding regardless of when you receive an executed copy - I don't have a dispute at the moment but if I did you know I'd be looking into professional legal advice about that.
posted by abulafa at 10:16 AM on October 27, 2009

Best answer: This is pretty standard. The two places we've lived in NYC, the lease has been mailed to us. It didn't stop us from feeling a little jittery and placing a call or two if we felt it was taking too long.
posted by tobiaswright at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2009

Best answer: Sounds pretty normal. Any kind of delay in terms of getting your countersigned copy is 99% of the time due to something more like "the super is hand-delivering it and had to fix someone's sink first" or "we were out of stamps and it didn't get in the mail until late."

I wouldn't worry about not getting a countersigned copy for a couple weeks unless they try to pull something outrageously hinky like coming in and painting everything you own chartreuse. You may get it sooner, they may just say "a couple weeks" to cover themselves against any super-fixing-the-sink/we-forgot-stamps scenarios.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:25 AM on October 27, 2009

Best answer: Standard. Where I live now they actually mailed the lease to the super who never got around to getting it to us, and I called them and raised hell after two months and then he brought it up. My last place it was mailed directly to me, about three weeks after I moved in.

On preview, sounds like abulafa and I might have the same super.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:27 AM on October 27, 2009

Best answer: Normal and not worrisome for a large management company that handles a lot of units. Unusual and potentially worrisome for a smaller property.

If you kept a photocopy of the version you signed, you're pretty much set, as the landlord will be hard-pressed to deny that the lease they prepared isn't what they agreed to, even absent a signature on their end. If you didn't keep a photocopy, I suggest you send a letter to the management company stating (i) you signed the lease they provided and sent it to them as required, (ii) you were informed by [name] you will be receiving a countersigned copy shortly, and (iii) you will be moving into the unit as of [date]. Even if you never receive a countersigned copy, this will be pretty good evidence that by allowing you to move in, the landlord has agreed to abide by the terms of the lease.
posted by brain_drain at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2009

I live in Boston.

We signed the leases, turned it into our landlord, and two weeks or so after moving in, our copy came to us in the mail.

As we've renewed, we've mailed the two copies back to the landlord, the landlord then mails us our copy shortly after the start of the new leasing period.

This didn't happen with my first apartment --- but then, that landlord kept everything (including his responsibility) to an absolute minimum. I like this landlord a lot better.
posted by zizzle at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2009

Depends on the size of the landlord. If it's one of the major luxury landlords like Related, you'll get a copy of the lease immediately.

If it's a smaller mom & pop operation, you'd have to pester them repeatedly as they don't have the bandwidth to deal with paperwork.

As to whether they should give you a copy of the lease: yes, they should, but this is not an ideal world in which we live.
posted by dfriedman at 11:09 AM on October 27, 2009

Response by poster: For the record, I received the lease by mail about 2 weeks after moving into the apartment.
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:16 PM on March 17, 2010

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