What are steps that I can take if the owner of the house in which I’m renting a room will not allow me to break the lease, even with a replacement?

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What are steps that I can take if the owner of the house in which I’m renting a room will not allow me to break the lease, even with a replacement?

I have sent him an email explaining that I will pay the rent until they find a replacement but have not heard back yet. If the lease was not notarized and I’m making an effort to find a replacement, can I get out of the lease?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Notarization doesn't matter one way or the other.

However, if  you *actually* find someone reasonably acceptable to take over the lease from you, and that person does in fact take over the lease, then so long as there was no clause in your lease preventing assignment of the lease, you would not owe money from the point at which you found the replacement. The effort or attempt to find someone does not matter--you need to actually come up with the person. Also, as noted, while the landlord may not be unreasonable about it, he doesn't have to approve someone who is simply unacceptable--e.g. bad credit or too-little income; or, since this is  room in the owner's own home, someone he can't be expected to live with (like a violent felon). And if there was some clause or term in the lease prohibiting assignment (having someone take over the lease), such a clause would be generally enforceable.


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