Is my lease void?
UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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Is my lease void?
State of Alaska question. We moved to take a professional opportunity out of Alaska. We are in a lease. We gave appropriate advance notice and agreed and did continue payments while the owner sought a new tenant. Early on a
demonstrably qualified new tenant presented but was refused by the owner. We feel it is willful failure to mitigate. Continuing…after nearly 60 days the owner chose to substantially reduce the asking rent and has now we believe found a new tenant. The property listings are down or read ad not currently on the market. Once the new lease is signed is our lease void? Are we liable for the difference in house payment between our lease amount and the new lower lease
Asked on August 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
Once a new lease is signed, your lease is terminated.
You will be responsible for the difference in monthly rent between your higher rent and the lower rent required to attract the new tenant for the remaining months on your lease.
If you believe that the landlord did wrongly refuse to accept a qualified tenant earlier or for more money, you could refuse to pay, in which case the landlord may sue you for the money; if he does, to defend the case, you will have to prove that there was no valid reason for turning down that tenant. Note that a poor credit report or a criminal background would be valid reasons to turn down a tenant, as would be if this tenant has been previously evicted from other premises.
If you leave owing any money, including rent (e.g. rent for any period there was no tenant and so you were still liable under the lease, or any difference in rent from a subsequent tenant paying less), the landlord can retain some or all of the deposit: security deposits are for unpaid rent as well as for damage to the property. If the landlord does retain some or all of the deposit when you feel he was not entitled to, you could sue him for its return; to get the money back, you'd have to show in court that is rentation of the money was not warranted.
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