Rights of tenant if taking a job outside of the country during a lease term.

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Rights of tenant if taking a job outside of the country during a lease term.

In my current lease, it says if I relocate to a job overseas with the current employer I had when I signed the lease then I can be released from the lease, but must pay to the last day of the month I made notice and also provide 1 months rent thereafter. It does not say however, if the employer I accept the job from is different then the one I signed the lease, which would then leave the assumption that they wouldn’t want to release me from the lease. However, I am trying to help the owner by advertising to find a tenant and to have the tenant sign a new lease and not takeover mine.

Asked on June 1, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Basically, you are legally obligated for the rent until the end of your lease term.  You changed employers and that's not covered by the terms of your lease.  You are however, doing all of the right things - you spoke with your landlord upfront and you are trying to find a new tenant. 

You should note, while it is good that you are looking for a new tenant, your landord is under a legal duty to do so - it's called "mitigation of damages".  If he/she doesn't  make a good faith attempt to find a replacement tenant you are off the hook as far as liability for further rent payments.


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