Can my landlord charge me a fee for approving an assignment?

I have to move to another state for work ASAP. I signed a lease for another place in my neighborhood (my current apt is loud) but now I need to get out of the upcoming lease. The broker said that if I break the lease they will keep my first and last month rent and can also charge me a fee of another two months’ rent. Instead, I want to do an assignment – transfer my lease to another person. I have a great candidate, but the broker says he must charge us another broker fee because the rental office handles all documents for the building and that’s their policy. Is this legal?

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your written lease does not have a specific provision within it about an assignment fee for your lease to another person as in a sublet, then your landlord cannot contractually or legally charge you an assignment fee (or a broker fee) as a matter of policy for what you want.

I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney about this situation and the best way to try and resolve as well as to safeguard your interests.

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