Can a landlord break a lease halfway through?

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Can a landlord break a lease halfway through?

I am currently renting a property in which an 18 month lease was signed for in a contract with a realtor company, not the actual homeowner. There are still 9 months left in the lease and the owner is requesting his house back ASAP. He agreed to the security deposit back in full. What else are we entitled to if we agree to vacate? 

Asked on August 23, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, a landlord may not break the lease early, so long as the tenant has not violated the lease in some significant way, there was no fraud in the tenant getting the lease, and no circumstances beyond the landlord's control (e.g. a fire; eminent domain) make leasing the space impossible.

You have the leverage--he needs you to agree to give him possession of the house back. What you can get is what you can negotiate. Other reasonable things to ask for include an allowance for moving expenses and a broker's fee (if you need a broker to find a new place) and possibly a certain amount of money (equal to 1 - 3 months rent) as an incentive to you to agree to give up possession.


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