Can a landlord refuse to take possession of the property?

I notified landlord that I had to leave 2 months early from lease and he refused, however I had no other choice. I have tried to make arrangements to surrender the property back to the owner and he refuses to meet with me or take the keys until the end of the lease. The house is now empty and clean and he says I am responsible. The house is now sitting empty. I sent all documents, photos and keys to the owner but he still refuse to admit that I have given back the property. Can he hold me legally responsible for the home after I have sent all keys and surrendered the home back to him?

Asked on April 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease for a definite duration, you are liable for the rent for the full remaining time on that lease--in signing the lease, which is a contract, you contractually obligated yourself to pay for the full length or duration of the lease. It does not matter what your situation is or why you want out of the lease; it does not matter if you no longer live there or left the premises spotless--all that matters is that you signed a lease for X months or years and therefore have to pay rent for X months or years. The landlord does not have to take the property back early or let you out of your lease--he can rely on the lease and hold you liable under it for the full remaining duration.

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