Under what conditions canI break a sub-lease?

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jul 21, 2010Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Under what conditions canI break a sub-lease?

I signed a sub-lease with a girl and I found out she is stealing from me, charging me too much for utilities and rent, and taking the check I write her for utilities and spending it on her own personal items. We keep receiving warnings that the gas and electric will be shut off because she isn’t using our money we give her to pay. The sublease looks like she downloaded it from “free-contracts.com” I’m moving out, does she has grounds to sue me for the remaining rent?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Note that stealing from you, oddly enough, does not necessarily give you a right to break a lease; it could certainly give rise to a separate cause of action to recover the money stolen, but does not automatically provide grounds for terminating a lease.

However, if the person you're subleasing from is violating key or material terms of the lease, such as (1) charging you more than the lease provides you should charge; or (2) not providing services (such as allowing utilities to get shut off), that may provide good grounds to terminate the lease, or at least sue her for damages (return of overcharges, for example).

You may wish to consider negotiating your way out of the lease by agreeing that if she executes a document allowing you out of the lease (terminating it), you will not in turn sue for any money she has taken from you. It would be in your interest to discuss the matter with an attorney who handles landlord-tenant matters and who can give you actual legal counsel based on the specifics of your situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption