What legal defenses do I have against a breach of contract?

My girlfriend and I started renting an apartment together last month and she just broke up with me and moved out. I’ve been searching for employment for the past couple months but haven’t been able to find any. Once I informed the landlord of her departure, he told me he would sue me for breach of contract if I moved out, even though I’ve explained that I don’t have a way to pay.

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written with respect to your situation where you cannot make the rental payments on the apartment that you have under your presumed lease with your landlord you have the defense that the landlord needs to mitigate his or her damages to try and rent out the unit to another person. Likewise, you have the defense that your former girlfriend assuming she signed the lease is jointly responsible for the rent besides youself.

I would try and sublet the unit out to another tenant where you might be able to get another person to pay the bulk of your rent owed to the landlord instead of yourself.

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