If my girlfriend and I recently leased an apartment and put some money down on it but have changed our minds, what can we do?

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If my girlfriend and I recently leased an apartment and put some money down on it but have changed our minds, what can we do?

After talking about it for a while, we decided the apartment was too small and was in a bad location for school/work. We haven’t even moved in yet but the landlord said we can’t break the lease and I’m afraid of what the legal ramifications could be in place if we did break the lease.

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, read your lease? Possibly there is language relating to this. If not, then legally a tenant is still liable for the remaining rent until the end of the lease term That having been said, a landlord is under a duty to "mitigate damages". This means that they must use reasonable efforts to find a replacement tenant. If and when this happens, the original tenant is relieved of any further rental obligation.

 

At this point, you can to consult directly with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. After hearing all of the facts of your situation, they can best advise you further. You can also check to see if there is a tenants' right organization in your area for help.


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