What do I owe ifI moveout of my apartment complex early?

There is an addendum to the contract for early termination, there were 2 options and I signed for option 1 – “You agree to pay $1,000(an amount that does not exceed 2 month’s rent) to us as liquidated damages or an early termination fee, if you elect to terminate the lease contract early, as we waive the right to seek additional rent beyond the month in which we retake possession.” I will be completely moved out of my apartment in 10 days (the 12th), however the rental office is stating that I needed to give 60 days notice and still owe next month’s rent.

Asked on November 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For a definitive answer, you need to bring the whole lease and any addenda to an attorney to review in detail with you, since any contract (and that's what a lease is, after all: a contract) must be read as whole, since one clause or paragraph affects another.

That said, based purely on the section you have quoted, it would appear that:

1) you do not owe 60 days notice, since it appears that in lieu of notice and/or additional rent for the balance of the lease's term, you would owe the $1,000 as liquidated damages.

2) You owe rent for whichever month it is in which you actually leave and the landlord retakes possession.

Against though, there could be language elsewhere in the lease affecting this,  so you need to consult wiith an attorney who can review the entirety of the lease, including addenda.


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