Can my landlord force me to pay an early termination fee if there is no fee specified in the lease?

Our lease does not specify what we would have to pay for early termination. Can our landlord legally pursue any fees that are not stated in the lease?

Asked on October 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; neither party to the contract may impose any fees or other obligations on the other party which are not in the lease itself. Therefore, if your lease does not provide for early termination fees, the landlord can't require you to pay them. Of course, if you terminate the lease before its expiration, unless the lease itself allows you to do so and you comply with any/all restrictions on the right to terminate early, you could still be held liable for all remaining rent due under the lease, and this is not an


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