Can I be held responsible if I terminated my lease early and was charged even though another tenant moved in immediately?

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Can I be held responsible if I terminated my lease early and was charged even though another tenant moved in immediately?

Approximately 3 years ago, I broke my lease due to the rent being raised in 1 month. I signed paperwork that was never turned in. After I advised the office that I was moving (I no longer have the copy of that paperwork), the lady working in the lease office at the time advised me that I needed to be out of the apartment completely by the first of the month. If I was not I be charged and loose my deposit. She had someone move in upon my moving out and explained that the lease would be switched into that person’s name. I have an eviction charge of $1400.

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In all states in this country, if a person breaches his or her contract regarding a rental, the landlord is under an obligation to mitigate (lessen) his or her damages by trying to rent out the unit formerly occupied by the tenant that breached the agreement for as high of a price per month and for as long as a term possible.

In your situation, if you ended your lease early with several months remaining on the agreed upon term, your potential damages would be the monthly amount of the lease multiplied by the time remaining upon it assuming you did not receive a written release from the landlord for the rental. However if the landlord rents out the vacant unit immediately for equal of more rent for a longer time period, the landlord has no damages.

However, if the landlord leases out the unit for one half of the rent that you were to pay, you would be obligated as possible damges for this one half differential multiplied by the number of months left on the lease.

Good question.


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