I live in California currently. My fiance and I signed a lease and we have not paid a security deposit. She is being transferred out of state for her job. The lease does not start until 6/1. Is it a valid agreement and what steps should we take to either

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I live in California currently. My fiance and I signed a lease and we have not paid a security deposit. She is being transferred out of state for her job. The lease does not start until 6/1. Is it a valid agreement and what steps should we take to either

I live in California currently. My fiance and I signed a lease and we have not paid
a security deposit. She is being transferred out of state for her job. The lease
does not start until 6/1. Is it a valid agreement and what steps should we take to
either void the lease or….? The landlord is not communicating with us in a timely
manner either. We sent him and email this morning and left several messages.
Thanks

Asked on April 26, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is a valid agreement: you signed it. Once you signed it, you are obligated to it--e.g. for all the rent due under it--whether or not you moved in yet or paid the security deposit. The lease is a contract; you contractually obligated yourselves to pay rent. That your fiance is being transferred is irrelevant: once you sign a contract, changes in your own situation (e.g. being relocated) have no effect on your obligations.
You are liable for the rent due under the lease until the earlier of 1) it expires; or 2) the landlord re-rents the space. The landlord does need to make "reasonable" efforts to re-rent (e.g. listing with a broker); this is called his obligation to "mitigate," or reduce, "damages," or his loss. If he does not, the court will only (if he sues you for rent due under the lease) give him rent for the number of months the court believes it should have taken him to re-rent the space, had he made reasonable efforts to do so. That said, sometimes even with reasonable efforts, space does not re-rent promptly, you could therefore be liable for some number of months of rent, up to the full length of the lease. 
If permitted by the lease, you may wish to look into whether you can sublet the space to someoene, or else do short-term AirBnB-type rentals, to generate income from it.


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