Can we be charged an early termination fee if this is not stated in our lease?

We signed a lease for a year but need to leave. She is now telling us to pay $1400 but it does not say this on the contract can she do this?

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If the written lease that you have signed with your landlord does not contain an early termination fee, then you are not obligated contractually to pay it.

The problem is that if you have a one (1) year lease with some months left on the lease, you are contractually obligated to pay for the months that you do not occupy the unit. I suggest that you seek a subtenant to lease the unit to or be subject to the landord expecting you to pay for the months remaining under the written lease where the rental is not occupied.

Good luck.

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