If a tenant breaks a1 year lease, can you sue her for the remainder of the lease?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If a tenant breaks a1 year lease, can you sue her for the remainder of the lease?

Asked on March 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the tenant was not justified in terminating the lease (e.g. you did not yourself violate some material term of  the lease; the premises was habitable; you provided all the premises and services/amenities to which she was entitled; etc.), then you could sue her for the remaining months of rent due under the lease. You are obligated to begin immediately making good faith efforts to re-rent the premises; and if you can do so, before what would have been the end of the lease term had the tenant not breached  it, you have to "credit" her for new rental. For example: say there are 7 months left on the lease. You start a lawsuit. Before the suit goes to trial, you re-rent the premises at the same (or greater rent) after 5 months of trying, which means that you haven't actually lost anything for  the last 2 months of the first tenant's rental--you could therefore recover 5 months rent from her. The law requires you to make this good faith effort to re-rent, in order to "mitigate" your damges. (If you rent the premises for less than she was paying, you would apply the rent you do receive versus what the tenant would have  owed you for those months.)


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption