Can I break my lease because of a school transfer?

Asked on January 6, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

This first thing that you need to do is to review your lease and look for language about just this type of situation. However, typically leases do not provide protection for a termination in the event of such a transfer. The fact is that you are more than likely not entitled to terminate your lease early. Therefore, you will be liable for the remaining rent .

Thhat having been said, your landlord is under a "duty to mitigate damages" once you move out. This means that they must use reasonable efforts to find a replacement tenant. Once the new tenant moves in, you will be relieved of any further rental obligation.

Do you know of someone who would like take over your unit? Also, can possibly sublet your unit. With a sublet you become the landlord (actually the "sub-landlord"). You could even choose to charge the "sub-tenant" less than what you are currently paying but it would at least give you some financial relief. You should be aware, however, that a sublet typically requires the landlord's permission; furthermore you should be aware that with a sublease you will still remain liable for the rent even if your sub-tenant fails to pay you.

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