Apartment company trying to get a release of lease fee from us

Hello, my wife and I gave notice to vacate to our landlord back in April 2009. We vacated the apartment as planned on May 30th only one month before the lease was up. They just sent us a bill stating that we owe them a release of lease fee for $1020 and a cleaning fee of $315 and that since we broke the lease that we forfeited our $500 security deposit. Can they do this? We were never told that there was going to be a release of lease fee. We are located in Forida.Thank YouEmery

Asked on June 30, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Florida


N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to carefully read your lease agreement as there is probably a provision in it regarding early termination of the lease.

Your lease may have different terms, but usually you are: (1) required to give a written notice at least 30 days before you plan to move; (2) be current in your rent payments and any other payments due under the lease; and (3) you may have to pay a "Release of Lease Fee." The amount of this release fee is usually a percentage of the remainder of the terms of the lease agreement or a fee equal to one month's rent.

If your lease agreement contains a "Release of Lease Fee" requirement, then  it's legal.

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