Can I be charged a lease breaking fee if I am a legal alien in the US but need to suddenly leave to comply with immigration laws?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I be charged a lease breaking fee if I am a legal alien in the US but need to suddenly leave to comply with immigration laws?

I am a resident alien. My US visa runs out 09/11. I was not able to get an extension with a green card. I am forced to leave the US by August. My lease runs through 01/12. At end of May, I told my landlord about my problems and that I would need to vacate by August, but at that point didn’t sign anything because I was still trying to sort things out. I went to my landlord at the end of June and told them that it’s now fairly certain that I have to leave. Landlord told me because I am giving 1 month notice, I must pay 4 months rent as penalty. I feel it’s excessive but have no recourse.

Asked on June 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, the landlord *may* charge you for all remaining rent which would be due under your lease, which is still unpaid as of when you breach the lease and vacate. He can't charge you more than would be due under the lease, but he may charge you any amounts you owe under the lease. That's because the lease--which is a contract--is not affected by your immigration status or issues; you agreed to pay a certain amount of rent for a certain period of time, and the landlord may enfoce that agreement.

Practically, if you leave the country, there may be no cost effective way for the landlord to sue you and collect his or her money; however, he does have the legal right to pursue this.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption