Is it legal to charge a resident an early termination/lease break fee if they choose to leave early and not fulfill the remainder of their rental lease?

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If a tenant signed a lease, generally speaking you can hold them to the term of that lease, make them find cover (a new tenant), or release them from the obligation.  You can't release them from the obligation while assessing a penalty.  Penalties are for criminal law, not contract law.  Make them pay for the remainder of the term or let them can't do something in between.

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