How do I get out of my lease without having to pay for the full year?

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How do I get out of my lease without having to pay for the full year?

I just recently renewed my lease for a year. Then learned that I may be able to take over payments on my older brother’s home with the help of my younger brother and sister (my grandparent’s old home). My new lease takes effect starting next month. What, if any, are my options?

Asked on August 5, 2011 Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, since your new lease hasn't started yet, speak with your landlord. Possibility there are others to whom the unit can be rented. If that doesn't work, unfortunately, this situation does not entitle you to terminate your lease early.  You are still liable for the remaining rental payments until the end of your lease term.  However, you should be aware that your landlord is under a duty to "mitigate damages" once you move out. This means that they must use reasonable efforts to re-rent the premises.  If and when this happens, you will be relieved of any further rental obligation.

In order to expedite things, perhaps you could help out your landlord. Do you know of someone who would like to move-in?  Ask aroundto see if any family, friends, co-workers, etc. might be interested (and be acceptable to your landlord).  Also, see if you can sublet your unit (you'll need your landlord's permission). With a sublet you would  become in effect become the "landlord".  To make things easier, you could charge the sub-tenant less than what you are paying but at least it would give you some monetary relief (although with a sublease you will still remain liable for the rent if your subtenant fails to pay you). 


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