Can I be charged a concession chargeback by my apartment complex, if they called me to release the apartment?

Fountain wood apartments charges a high concession charge back for breaking an apartment rental contract so I decided to keep the apartment even though I was moving out of state. The apartment complex contacted me saying they found a renter for the apartment, would I be willing to release the apartment since I had moved out of state. I said yes, but they sent me a bill for concession charge back.

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If they had agreed to not charge you the charge back, then they could not. But without that agreement, they probably could. That's because if you break the lease, you are potentially liable for both the remaining unpaid rent under the lease as well as any penalties contained in the lease; finding a new tenant means you don't have to pay the unpaid rent (since now the landlord is getting it from someone else), but does not necessarily mean you don't have to pay the penalty/fee/chargeaback, etc. However, that's just generalities: for a definitive answer, you need to examine both the exact wording of the lease (especially any terms about the chargeback) and also consider exactly what was in the agreement between you and the landlord about you leaving early. If possible, let an attorney help you determine your rights under the lease and any subsequent discussions or agreements (i.e. let a lawyer examine the lease, etc. for you).


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