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


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

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.