Can I break my lease if my job transfers me?

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Can I break my lease if my job transfers me?

Asked on September 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This first thing to do is to review your lease and look for language about just this very situation. Some leases do provide protection for a tenant in the event of a job transfer. If you lease is silent as to a relocation, then unfortunately you are not entitled to an early lease termination. In other words, you are still liable for the remaining rent until the ending date of your lease. However, your landlord is under what is known as a "duty to mitigate damages" once you move out. What this means that they must use reasonable efforts to find a new tenant.  If this happens, once the new tenant moves in you will be relieved of any further rental obligations.

Perhaps you know of someone who would like take over your space? Ask family, friends, neighbors, etc. Also, possibly can sublet your unit. With a sublet you in become the landlord (actually the "sub-landlord"). You could even choose to charge the "sub-tenant" less than what you are paying but at least it would give you some financial relief. However, a sublet typically requires the landlord's permission. Additionally, you should be aware, that with a sublease you will still remain liable for the rent even if your sub-tenant fails to pay you

Note: You should check with your HR department and see if your employer will help to offset some of your rental expenses through some form of a relocation allowance.


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