If a renter signs a lease on a residential property but then has “renter’s remorse,” is there any grace period or “right of remission”?

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If a renter signs a lease on a residential property but then has “renter’s remorse,” is there any grace period or “right of remission”?

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I think that what you are referring to here is what is known as a "right of rescission". Unfortunately, there is no such rights where rental agreements are concerned. Once you sign a lease, unless otherwise stated in it, you are obligated for the full stated term. This is true whether or not you have moved in or paid your rent, etc.  

That having been said, a landlord is under a "duty to mitigate damages". This means is that they must make a reasonable and good faith effort to re-rent the apartment. Once they do, you are no longer liable for payments. 

Right now you should try to speak with the landlord. They may simply let you out of your lease outright or for a small fee. If not, then you have some other options. You can tryto find a replacement tenant who will enter into a new lease with your landlord. If necessary you can find someone who will sublet from you (however you'll still be still on the lease and ultimately responsible for the rent). To "sweeten the deal", you may sublet for less than you are paying and then you can make up the difference; this would at least give some financial relief.


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