Am I responsible for any damages to an apartment after I move out but if the lease is still in effect?

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Am I responsible for any damages to an apartment after I move out but if the lease is still in effect?

I’m closing on my first home at the end of next month. My lease isn’t up for another 4 1/2 months. I am 100% OK with paying my rent for the rest of the year after I move (if my apartment complex doesn’t find a replacement) but am I responsible for the apartment if someone breaks in, if there is a fire, etc. after I move out?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Delaware

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have given your notice of termination of your lease for the remainder of its term and the landlord has accepted it, you would have no liability for damages to the unit that you rented after you are no longer in possession of it even though you still owe a balance for its term for the monthly rent.

You cannot be liable for a unit that you are no longer in possession of after a proper termination notice was given to the landlord if some third party breaks in and causes damages and the like.

Since you are willing to pay 4 1/2 months of rent for the former unit even though you are not occupying it, the landlord is under an affirmative obligation to re-rent it as soon as possible. If he or she does and your former unit is occupied during this 4 1/2 month period where rent is paid by another tenant, you are entitled to a refund of the rent you are paying the former landlord during this time period.


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