Whatto do if we have been asked to break our lease and move out so our rental house can be sold?

We had a year lease to run another 9 weeks. The landlord asked us to be out by 15th of this month (next week) and wanted $500 for repairs, mentioning nothing about rent. I told her to use the security deposit. She said she used our deposit to pay her mortgage because we were a week late on rent. I did pay, just late so that should have been put back as our deposit money. Now we are told to leave now, pay rent and repairs. Is this fair. What can we do?

Asked on March 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The landlord can "ask" you to leave earlier, but you do not need to do so, not until your lease is up. If the landlord is serious about getting you out early, she is free to offer you something to make it worth your while. The lease is a contract; one party (the landlord) may not unilaterally change its terms, such as by requiring you to leave before the expiration date.

She should not have used the security deposit for your rent under those circumstances; and since you you paid the rent subsequent to that, she certainly should replace the money in the deposit. If she does not, you may sue her when you leave for any money wrongfully withheld by her.

You only have to pay for repairs for damage you actually caused, not for  normal wear and tear.


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