Can a landlord refuse to allow an acceptable tenant from assuming a lease?

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Can a landlord refuse to allow an acceptable tenant from assuming a lease?

Have 5 months remaining on my 1 year lease. Need to move due to a work transfer. So I’m trying to have someone else take over the remainder of my lease. I found a tenant with no cost to the landlord and they were willing to go through all landlord requirements (pay application fee, credit background check etc.). Landlord is refusing to transfer the lease to someone else and instead require them to sign a lease for 1 year.

Asked on August 12, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Read the terms of your written lease with your landlord. This document sets forth the obligations you owe to the landlord and vice vesa and controls subject to contrary state law on the subject. Most leases have provisions within allowing the landlord to first give permission for the assumption of the lease, but permission shall not be unreasonably withheld.

If you have someone willing to pick up the balance of your lease under the same terms as what you have with the landlord and the landlord is refusing to allow such because he or she wants a longer term, the landlord is being unreasonable.

You might consider sub-leasing the unit to the new person where you are essentially the landlord for the new person. The new person pays you the rent and you pay your landlord the rent.  Look to see if there is a provision in your lease allowing subleasing of the unit.

Good luck.


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