If I had to break lease to move out of state for job but my employer is paying the rent for the remainder of lease, can the landlord keep my security deposit?

Had to move out of state for work. My company is paying off the remainder of my lease monthly. The landlord is supposed to try to rent the house, but is trying to sell it instead. He wants us to pay the utilities for the remainder of our lease while he tries to sell it. He also will not return our security deposit. He has already received the first payment from my company for rent. Are we responsible for the utilities when we do not live there? Can he keep the security deposit until out lease expires?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) If your employer is paying the balance of the rent, then the lease is still in force. The landlord may keep the security deposit until the lease expires (or the employer fails to pay, breaching the lease, whichever comes first). At that point, if there is any unpaid rent or any damage to the premises, he can take that cost out of the security deposit and return the balance to you.

2) If the lease holds you liable for utilities, you (or your employer) must pay them; you are responsible for anything the lease indicates you must pay.

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