If I terminate my lease early but pay rent while the place is vacant, can I still be charged 2 months rent for an early termination fee?

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If I terminate my lease early but pay rent while the place is vacant, can I still be charged 2 months rent for an early termination fee?

Asked on November 23, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, so long as you pay rent until the end of your lease term, you have not terminated early and would not owe an early termination fee. No law says that a tenant has to be in residence: so long as you are paying your rent, you are complying with lease obligations.
That said, review your lease: some leases specfically state that you may not "abandon" your property. Such clauses are legal--while the law does not require you to stay in occupancy, the lease may. If so--if there is some residency clause--then moving out early may be a breach of your lease even if you pay rent and may obligate you to an additional fee.


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