I want to break my lease three months earlier. I informed my landlady 2-3 months earlier and she agreed that someone can replace me.

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I want to break my lease three months earlier. I informed my landlady 2-3 months earlier and she agreed that someone can replace me.

When I asked for a sublet contract for my replacement, she did not contact me
with an answer and I had to cancel the replacement. Again, I informed her that if
she doesn’t provide a sublease contract I will move out without any
responsibility for the rent. Now, she wants to sue me for unpaid rent and there
is a clause in the contract that I have to pay for any legal action she takes
regarding our lease. What is the best option for me with the least financial
cost? I have a rental share of 800/month and 750 deposit I cannot afford to
pay a few thousand for a court.

Asked on May 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you have a lease for a definite or defined term, you *cannot* break it early without being liable for all remaining rent (e.g. for the last three months) unless the landlord breached or violated the lease in some "material," or important, way. A lease is a contract; a party cannot get out of contract early except when the other side first violates its own obligations (such breach allows you to treat the contract as terminated, if you choose) or if the other side voluntarily allows out of the contract early. Your best option is likely to simply pay the last three months of rent, since if you break the lease early without the landlord first committin a material breach, you will owe the rent plus the landord's legal fees.


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