Can a landlord break a lease halfway through?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2011

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

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 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.

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