Can an apartment manager charge more for a termination fee than the amount of rent that would have been owed?

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Can an apartment manager charge more for a termination fee than the amount of rent that would have been owed?

I moved out of my apartment with one month left on the lease. I gave notice 60 days before the lease was up and 30 days before I moved out. I am being charged $1500 for the termination. My monthly lease rate was $552. Is this legal?

Asked on February 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

IF there was some clause or term in a written lease which you had (obviously) previously agreed to, which provided for a larger termination fee, that would be enforceable. But the key is it must have been in a written lease to which you agreed.

The apartment manager may not simply, without the support of a written lease, charge you *any* termination fee at all, let alone such a large one; he would be limited to 1) seeking any previously unpaid rent; 2) seeking rent for the balance of the lease term (i.e. after you move out); and 3) seeking the cost of any repairs necessitated by damage you did to the premises.


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