If I was dismissed froma school and had to leave, am I responsible for the last several months of the lease?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I was dismissed froma school and had to leave, am I responsible for the last several months of the lease?

I attended a university and stayed in student housing. I was dismissed at the end of the first semester for failure to complete my learning support classes within 3 attempts. Student housing lease terminates at the end of the second semester when the year is over. I contacted the housing office and let the manager know of my dismissal. She told me if I moved all my things out by the end of the first semester, she would put the rent I paid up towards breaking the lease. What I want to know is, since I was dismissed from the school and had to leave, am I responsible for the last months of the lease?

Asked on January 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Although you left school, you are still liable for the rent for the balance of the term of the lease.  The lease is a contract between landlord and tenant.  Your obligation to pay rent will end either at the end of the semester or if the place is re-rented before the end of the semester.  If the place is re-rented, your obligation to pay rent ends.  However, if the new tenant is paying less rent than you were paying, you would remain liable for the difference in rent for the balance of the term of your lease.  The landlord has to mitigate (minimize) damages and would have to have a valid reason for charging the new tenant less rent than you were paying.  Market conditions would be a valid reason. 

The landlord cannot allow the rental to remain vacant for the rest of the semester without making reasonable efforts to find another tenant.  If the landlord does not make reasonable efforts to find another tenant, the landlord has failed to mitigate damages and the landlord's damages will be reduced accordingly.  Reasonable efforts to find another tenant will depend on what other landlords in the area are doing to attract tenants; for example, posting a sign on the property advertising the vacancy, advertising the rental on campus or in some student publication, advertising in the newspaper or a rental guide or online. 

It sounds like the manager is offering you a way out by applying the rent you have paid toward breaking the lease.  It would be advisable to get that in writing.


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