Can an apartment complex charge a termination fee in additon to a re-letting fee?

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Can an apartment complex charge a termination fee in additon to a re-letting fee?

Landlord is charging a $2000 termination fee, in addition to the re-letting fee. It does not state the fee anywhere on the lease agreement but it does state the fee on a lease addendum agreement. My office is relocating and I don’t have a choice; I have to move but they will not budge on the fees. Are there any loopholes that I can use to get out without paying close to $5000?

Asked on April 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The question is, did you agree to the addendum? The landlord cannot unilterally, after the fact, change a lease, which is what adding an addendum does. So if you specifically agreed to the addendum--e.g. it was offered to you and you signed it--OR if the original lease contained some reservation of rights or power by the landlord to make certain subsequent changes and this addendum would be covered, then you could be made to pay the fee--and note: there is nothing generally illegal about a termination fee plus reletting fee IF the parties agree to it.

On the other hand, if after you had already agreed to a lease, the landlord, without power to do so, put out an addendum to which you did not also agree, you are not bound; again, the landlord cannot unilterally alter the deal between the two of you.


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