Can I break my lease due to a job transfer?

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Can I break my lease due to a job transfer?

I was notified today that the company I work for is transferring out of state. I want to breech my lease without being responsible for the remainder of my term or until they find new renters. Is this legally possible?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all have you read your lease? Possibly their is language relating to this. If not, unfortunately this situation does not entitle you to terminate your lease early.  You are still liable for the remaining rent until the end of the lease term.  That having been said, your landlord is under a duty to "mitigate damages" once you move out. This means that they must use reasonable efforts to find a new tenant.  If and when this happens, you will then be relieved of any further rental obligation.

In order to expedite things perhaps you know of someone who would like take over your space. Also, ask if you can sublet your unit; in a sublet you in effect become the "landlord".  You could charge the sub-tenant less than what you are paying but at least it would give you some monetary relief (you would need your landlord's permission to do so). You should be aware however, that with a sublease, you will still remain liable for the rent if your subtenant fails to pay it. 

Note: Possibly your employer can help offset some of your rental expenses via a relocation allowance, Check with your HR department.


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