What will happen if I don’t pay the fee’s to break my lease?

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What will happen if I don’t pay the fee’s to break my lease?

I am moving out of the city and will be breaking my lease. The apartment management is charging me to break the lease and also other fees which add up to $3900. What will happen if I don’t pay this fee?

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can be sued--that's what could happen.

First, the landlord (or its manager) cannot charge whatever it likes--it can only charge what the lease provides or what it and you agree to. So if the lease provides that if you terminate the lease early, you have to pay various fees, you'd have to pay them. Or if the lease is silent about that, then if you breach the lease, you would be liable for all remaining rent due under the lease; e.g. if there are 6 months to go on the lease and your rent is $800/month, you'd be liable for up to $4,800, or such lesser amount as you and the landlord or manager agree to.

Second, if you don't pay these amounts, as noted, the landlord may sue you for the money. It may also be able to apply your security deposit to any amounts due, then sue you for any remaining balance.


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