If I end my lease early and a new tenant is replacing me 2 days after I move, can the landlord still hold me responsible for the rest of the year’s rent?

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If I end my lease early and a new tenant is replacing me 2 days after I move, can the landlord still hold me responsible for the rest of the year’s rent?

Asked on June 29, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The law provides that if a tenant moves out of their premises prior to the end of the lease term, a landlord is responsible to "mitigate damages". This means that they must try to re-rent your vacated unit. Once a new tenant is found, the old tenant is then relieved of any further rental obligation.

Therefore, in your case, while you can be held liable for the rent payments during the time that your unit was empty, once it is occupied by a paying tenant, you are no longer liable for any rental obligation. 

If you are going to be charged unlawfully, you need to speak with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. After hearing all of the details of your situation, they can best advise you as to how to proceed. You can also see if their is a tenants' rights group who can assist you.


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