I am in a rental through a realtor in the state of MD (Wicomico county). My step dad just won a court case against this property management group because there is a section in the lease agreement that is illegal to have tenants sign under MD code. Being that the landlord is not responsible for property damaged due to landlord being out of control for happenings not caused by the tenant. Does this then mean that the entire contract is invalid/void? I am under the same contract with this property just in a different building. Does this void the contract because what they did is against public policy in the one section?

1 Answer 1


The entire contract is almost surely not invalid or void, just the term of the lease pertaining to responsibility for property damage caused by the landlord.

Normally a lease like that would have a "severability clause" that would say so, but even if it didn't that would be how a court would be most likely to interpret the issue.

  • In the above answer, @ohwilleke has made a correct statement, but I believe answered the wrong question. I think OP is asking if he and his father have the exact same contract with the same company but in separate buildings and his father had the contract declared void by a court due to, say, Provision A, is Provision A in the son's contract automatically void, too? In other words, is he automatically relieved of the duty to perform whatever is described in Provision A by virtue of the court's decision w/the father's contract.
    – A.fm.
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 0:28
  • @A.fm. Could be, the OP is not the most articulate enunciation of a question. I think it answers the final question, but there may have been more than was being asked. In a suit by the stepson against the landlord, the stepson probably can apply the ruling in the stepfather's case against the landlord in a binding way by collateral estoppel, although the landlord probably can't hold the stepson to rulings made against the stepfather in the same suit.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 21:32
  • 2
    @A.fm. The OP contains the question "Does this then mean that the entire contract is invalid/void?" (emphasis added). I don't see how that could possibly be interpreted to mean "is Provision A in the son's contract automatically void, too?" It seems to me that this is answer addresses the question precisely.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 14:35
  • Keep reading, @phoog. The very next sentence says, "I am under the same contract with this property just in a different building." Then, the next one says, "Does this void the contract because..." But don't stop there! Go ahead & read my comment where I say, "I believe" and "I think," words one uses when one leans toward one option or another, but isn't sure. Anyway, unless OP just randomly thought it'd be useful for us to know she lives in a different building & has the same contract, then based on what's provided, it's at least reasonable to point out there may be a different interpretation.
    – A.fm.
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 5:46

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