What costs am I responsible for, if I break my lease early?

UPDATED: Dec 26, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 26, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What costs am I responsible for, if I break my lease early?

I have broken my lease and I am buying a house. My landlord had us pay $200 to break out lease which is in writing. From their they would try to re-rent our apartment and we are responsible for rent until they do so. However, I have found out that they are not listing our apartment, and when people inquire about it, they only say another yet is available, even when we specifically ask about our unit. So they are not trying to rent ours, they are forcing people upon their other unit. Has my landlord broke our agreement, and are we off the hook for the rent?

Asked on December 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You landlord appears to be in breach of both the agreement and the law: the law requires people to try to mitigate, or minimize, damages. In the context of rental units, that means making reasonable good faith efforts to re-rent a unit, such as advertising it, or listing it with a broker or agent, and certainly letting people know it is available to rent if anyone inquires about units. Therefore, it appears that you would have grounds to stop paying; however, since your landlord may well try to sue you for the money, make sure you have evidence (e.g. notes  about when people have tried to rent the unit and can't; other people who would be witnesses and testify they were not told your unit was available; etc.) before you do so, so you could defend yourselves in any such suit.

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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption