13 People Share The Sneakiest Clause They've Ever Found In A Legal Contract.
People on Reddit were asked: "What is the sneakiest clause you've ever found in a contract?" These are some of the best answers.
1/13 In my college days I signed a lease that read, "No parties with kegs containing 10 or more people." We decided to host a huge kegger, and smartly, we didn't put anyone in the kegs.
2/13 I was in law school and my SO and I were living in an apartment. The apartment was okay, but it had really shitty plumbing which was connected between apartments (we were the top apartment.) Anyways, one day the plumbing burst in the apartment below us. The complex said that we had been putting pasta down our drains and there was a clause in our lease which stated that they could fine us for damaging the plumbing by putting pasta down the drains. Not grease, not hard objects, not human waste, pasta.
Luckily, I got us out of it, but it was incredibly ridiculous that I had to argue with him about it.
3/13 My parents, in reviewing the contract on a house they were buying, found a clause that said they had to keep all the cats. 3 long haired cats. My mom is allergic to cats.
They took it out... but left the cats behind anyway.
4/13 A few years ago I was working for a small company, we occupy the entire first floor of a small building. One Monday morning we got to the office and 1/2 the floor was flooded with water because the landlord workers were moving some stuff over the weekend and broke a water sprinkler and left it that way overnight.
Lots of water damage, and we relocated the people in the floated area into the other 1/2 of the floor that was OK, we remained like that for about 6 weeks. When it was time to pay the rent, the lease contract was written in a way that we owed rent money in its entirety even if the facilities were not available, no matter what the reason was. We went back and forth and... we had to pay, and the landlord was a real ass about it. Then I had what I consider a brilliant idea. When we filed for our insurance claim, we included the rent money in the damages, 1/2 of the rent for the 6 weeks.
Our insurance paid us, no problem. It just so happen by pure chance that our insurance carried happened to be also the insurance carrier for the Landlord, and they were not too happy about the incompetence of the Landlord, the lack of responsiveness, and the way the lease contracts were written; so within a few day from us receiving the check we got a lot of phone calls from the insurance people asking about the building and the Landlord, and then 3 people from the insurance company came to pay a visit to the building too.
I guess they raised the Landlord's insurance rate by quite a bit, he was absolutely pissed, and demanded to see the paperwork of what we filed as claims, what we told the insurance etc.. and said that he would have to increase the rent because of his insurance cost had gone through the roof, we told him to go f*ck himself, and moved out 3 years later at the end of the lease.
5/13 When the NBA and ABA merged, the owners of the St. Louis Spirits negotiated to receive one seventh of the annual TV revenues for each of four new NBA teams IN PERPETUITY. This was about 300 grand per year at the time, but by now has made them around $255,000,000.
6/13 My dad bought a house in the mid 90's to remodel and sell. He found a clause in the deed that said "house cannot be sold to a colored person". It was written in the 40's and had remained unchanged through several owners. He took it out.
7/13 I had a lawyer friend who leased a car from a dealer that had a really poorly written contract. Depending on how a car lease is written (and maybe depending on what state you're in), the dealer either continues to hold title to the car while it's leased to you (with the contract giving you right of possession) OR you hold title to the car while the dealership has a lien on the title so that ownership returns to the dealer at the end of the lease.
This contract gave the dealer the lien, rather than the title, BUT the way it was written, the entire contract expired at the end of the lease term, including the provision that returned the title to the dealer. So essentially, the contract disappears, my friend is left with both the car and the title to the car, the dealer has no legal rights to the car.
The dealership called her up and asked when she would be returning the car, she says "I'm not." They said oh, you're buying the car then? She says "No I'm just gonna keep it, thanks."
The dealer sued her, then realized they f*cked up the contract, and offered to settle. Since she wasn't completely confident that a judge wouldn't just find a way to justify giving the car back to the dealer (since this was pretty unfair, after all), she settled but the settlement ended up being her buying the car for like 20% of its value.
8/13 In grad school I was desperate to find a cheap apartment. Since this was pre craigslist, I got a post from a literal bulletin board at the school. Met up with the girl who had the room, seemed fine, seemed ok with me, so I sign papers for the place. Then I moved in. Once I moved in, she had all these extra rules for me. Put my tv downstairs in the basement, use the bathroom down there, etc. I was sick one day and used the upstairs bathroom (directly next to my bedroom) and she started yelling at me. Yada yada yada I needed to leave. I looked at the lease I signed and it said "This contract is null and void if rent is not paid by the 7th of the month." So I just moved out. I left a note letting her know what was up and she called me screaming "That was for MY protection, not yours!"
9/13 I reviewed a business sale contract once for the sale of a convenience store. The attorney who drafted it added a provision that he be allowed a six pack of beer of his choosing for free every time he visited the store. When I pointed it out to the client and confronted the other side, it was communicated to them that their lawyer added that "to see if anyone was actually reading it."
10/13 I worked on a huge white collar criminal healthcare fraud case. The chief legal counsel of the HMO ended up being one of the defendants. Years earlier he had negotiated an indemnification clause that required the company to pay for his legal defense to the criminal charges. If the company tried to challenge its obligation to pay for the defense, it would have to pay for his legal fees to defend the challenge. It was ironclad and ended up the defendants tens of millions of dollars in legal fees.
11/13 I worked for a group of professionals. There was a falling out over pay and time off. I agreed to stay if certain conditions were met. They insisted on a contract for my next year's work.
I had already corrupted their corporate attorney. We drew up the contract together. When his secretary typed it up, he read through it and then told me that the contract obligated the corporation to pay my wages, pension, medical, dental and other benefits for the full year, but didn't obligate me to do anything in return. We put in a stipulation that it was payment for prior unpaid work.
I knew none of the over educated fools would read it and they didn't. Just signed it. Out of the pure goodness of my heart, I believe that I actually worked 14 weeks in the next year.
12/13 I am an attorney, and I work for a large university. A few years ago, the university bid a near-exclusive dining services contract that applied to every part of campus except the libraries. Company A won the campus-wide bid. When the libraries bid their dining services, Company B (Company A's main competitor) won the bid. Company B's contract had several exhibits. One of the exhibits was a technical exhibit (e.g., how many ovens they would have, number of employees, etc.), and in the middle of the last page the technical exhibit, in about 6-point font, it read: "University hereby terminates its contract with Company A, and hereby appoints Company B as the exclusive provider for all dining services."
We caught it and deleted it.
13/13 Not an attorney but when my husband and I rented our first house the leasing company was owned by a group of attorneys. They put "must return property in the same or better condition" which is pretty much impossible in a home over a years time and apparently illegal for a rental contract in Ohio. They tried to charge us $300 over our deposit and threatened to sue us for it. We got our own attorney and they backed off.
Teachers have a hard job and empathy can make all the difference, as we learned when Redditor 2minutestosundown asked the online community: High School teachers of Reddit, what is the one thing that you want your students to know that you'd never tell them in person?