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I am about to enter into a rental agreement. A section of the agreement reads:

"The balance refunded alone the deposit"

I am unfamiliar with the use of the term "alone" in this context. Does this mean "along with the deposit", "not including the deposit", or is it just meaningless rubbish? (some other parts of the contract have typos and such)

  • Must be "along" mistyped. – Greendrake Aug 2 '20 at 0:08
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Does this mean "along with the deposit", "not including the deposit", or is it just meaningless rubbish? (some other parts of the contract have typos and such)

It is in your best interest to require the landlord/draftsman to make the contract clear enough instead of signing one that evidently is sloppy. It is quite risky to assume that an unintelligible term maybe is meaningless rubbish. Once you sign/accept a contract, the legal conclusion is that you understood and willfully accepted the terms thereof.

In case of ambiguity[-ies] in a contract, the doctrine of contra proferentem entitles you to the reasonable interpretation that favors your position. However, you will be better off by preempting from the start any legal disputes. A clear, well-written contract is crucial to that.

  • Sure. However, just because something isn't clear to me does not imply that it is not clear to a lawyer, and vice versa. This was really the essence of my question: that it was not clear to me whether or not the language was clear. – Him Aug 3 '20 at 7:53
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    I hear you. In this case, the language of the contract is unclear. But even if it were clear to someone with deep acquaintance with legalese and legal doctrines, the fact that the contract is with you somewhat entitles you --within reasonable limits-- to language that is intelligible to you or to the average person with whom that type of contract would be entered. – Iñaki Viggers Aug 3 '20 at 8:06

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