If a landlord asks a tenant who signed a 12 month lease to sign an addendum after they have already moved in that changes the terms of the lease to move out within 3 months of the landlord's death, and receive $5,000 for the inconvenience of moving out, is the tenant obligated to sign this addendum? Also, let's say that the addendum was originally referred to as the "garage lease" but became the addendum when it specified changes to the original lease. The rental is hypothetically in Chicago, Illinois.

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    – isakbob
    Nov 9, 2019 at 2:37
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    Are you saying that this "garage lease" addendum leases the tenant the garage (in addition to the apartment) and then also says "Oh, and by the way, the main lease is changed in these respects..." ? That is, the renting of the garage is dependent on accepting changes to the main lease? That seems to be a slightly sneaky way of forcing consent on those changes. Nov 9, 2019 at 12:18
  • So that means that in the very worst case (landlord dies the next second) you get $550 per month ($5000 over 9 months) for your inconveniences about not being able to use a flipping garage??? Why would one even hesitate signing that addendum? Or do I not understand this right?
    – Damon
    Nov 9, 2019 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


You are never obligated to sign a contract. You already have a lease agreement in place, which will be enforceable for the agreed-upon duration. The lease can be changed if both parties agree to it, but one party cannot unilaterally demand that other agree to any changes to the contract - a landlord can't, for example, change your lease agreement to increase your rent payment in the middle of your lease term and demand that you sign it. The landlord is certainly allowed to ask, in the hopes that both parties can come to an agreement, but again, both parties need to agree in order for an existing contract to be changed.

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    Unilateral changes are allowed if the contract provides for them - the terms of service on this site for example.
    – Dale M
    Nov 8, 2019 at 21:53
  • @Dale In such a case (like a rent review), the tenant would have agreed in advance. Nov 9, 2019 at 10:24
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    @TimLymingtonsupportsMonica sure but such agreement in advance can be wide sweeping than just a price adjustment- it can include allowing one party to completely replace every term of the contract - as it does in Stack Exchange’s ToS.
    – Dale M
    Nov 9, 2019 at 10:36
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    @DaleM Hasn't that provision, especially with ToS, been found to be unenforceable?
    – user28451
    Nov 9, 2019 at 12:15
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    Just because a contract says one party can unilaterally change its terms doesn't necessarily mean that they actually can. Laws still take precedence, as does the opinion of a judge. Nov 9, 2019 at 16:50

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