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I will be reletting a college apartment and was told by managers that the rate the new tenant paid must be the same as my rate. However, their rates fluctuate very often with promos, deals, etc. and are currently much lower at this time than when I signed the original lease agreement earlier in the year. I was also told by leasing agents that upon paying the fee my unit would not be listed on their website or marketed at all as it seems and I would be solely responsible for finding a replacement tenant. Wouldn’t it part of their duty to mitigate damages by offering a rate closer to the going current going rate of my unit granted how much their prices are altered? Also, would it be objectively reasonable for them to list my unit on their website? Some things to note I’m in TX. They offer 1x1s, 2x2s, 3x3s and 4x4s some of which are upgraded with a more modern look and some are standard. I have a 4×4 upgraded unit and there are no more remaining mine would be the only one available after paying the fee. Also, I have not moved in yet as move-in day is on the 21st.
Asked on August 12, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
The landlord must attempt to "mitigate" (reduce) his "damages" (or losses) by making commercially reasonable efforts to re-let the premises. This includes listing or advertising it in all the normal and customary ways it would usually try to lease space (e.g. on its website; and if it normally uses a leasing agent or realtor, it would have to do that, too) and also listing it at *current* market rent. Note that if current market rent is less than the prior tenant paid and the prior tenant breached his/her lease, then the tenant may have to pay the difference: for example, say the tenant breached with four months left on his/her lease and the rent was $1,000/month. The landlord manages to re-rent for $800/month, because that is what like units are going for now. The landlord does so after one month. The breaching tenant would owe one month at $1,000 (the lease rent) and three months at $200 per month (difference between lease rent and current rent) or a total of $1,600.
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