breaking of lease between landlord and tenant by mutual consent.

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breaking of lease between landlord and tenant by mutual consent.

Tenant A had a lease with the landlord which Tenant A decided to break. Landlord and Tenant A discussed the breaking of the lease ahead of time, and Tenant A agreed to pay rent until Landlord could find someone to rent the office. Tenant A moved out.Tenant A then spoke to Tenant B, who also rented an office in the building. Tenant B decided to take Tenant A’s office space because she liked it better than her original space. The landlord, however, now has nobody in Tenant B’s original office space.Landlord wants to know if there is any law in South Carolina (or another state IF there is none in South Carolina) on this “slider” issue, as when one existing tenant slides into take the place of another tenant. Can he recover from Tenant A until he rents Tenant B’s space based on their original agreement?

Asked on May 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Landlord-tenant law is different from one state to the next, so the law that matters here is only the law in the state where the building is located.  You need to take the leases for both tenants, and any written agreement that might have been made about Tenant A moving out, to a real estate lawyer in that state.  One place to find an attorney who can help you with this is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Ordinarily, a lease is for a specific office space, so Tenant B might not have the right to move into the space left by Tenant A without having broken her own lease, and her lease almost certainly doesn't give her the right to chance offices in the building in mid-term without your permission, even if you charge the same rent for both spaces.  The law considers land to be unique, and even two identical offices or building lots are not interchangeable without everyone's agreement, in most cases.


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