If I break a commercial lease but give a 30 day notice, am I still legally responsible to pay for the remainder of the contractual rent terms?

Asked on September 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are liable for the remainder of the contractual rent term will depend on your lease and the your landlords ability to re-rent the property.

Many leases have provisions that obligate and contractually bind a renter to pay the balance of the lease term until a new renter can be found-- which could be the whole lease term if a replacement renter is not procured.  IF you have this type of lease provision, then, yes, you could be responsible for the balance of the contract term even though you no longer occupy the space.  After you leave the property, the landlord, however, has a duty to try to mitigate the damages by actively seeking a new renter. So, once you vacate, keep an eye on the property for things like signs and contact information.  If the landlord does nothing, you may have a cause of action later for his failure to mitigate and look for a new renter.

If your lease agreement does not have a provision that continues to hold you liable after a 30 day notice (usually required in writing), then no, you would not be responsible for the remainder of the contractual lease term.

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