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Re: breaking a lease

Posted by TenantNet on May 16, 1996 at 15:04:39:

In Reply to: breaking a lease posted by claire hamilton on May 16, 1996 at 14:27:55:

: I live in Athens,GA. Most rental property is
student apartments and the leases typically
specify that a renter cannot terminate the lease
for any reason short of death. Anyway I found a
house and moved, I have thus far paid one months
rent. I have two months remaining on my lease.
The landord said that she would rent the apt out
because I, according to lease, cannot sublet.
The landlord has made no effort to rent the unit
choosing instead to do a complete and substantial
remodel. Is there anyway to get out of this?

Thanks for being the first to try our test
discussion area. I'm hoping other tenants will
see your message and chime in with their 2 cents.
-- if for no other reason so we don't have to respond to every
question :) Plus others may know some peculiarities
of the law in your area.

You can generally terminate a lease for a variety
of reasons -- but it can depend on your lease and also state/city
law and local court practice. Some lease provisions might be "unenforceable."
For example, if the landlord breached the lease, that might possibly
give you right to terminate the lease no matter what the landlord thinks.
You might also have the right to sublet -- check your local law.
In general a tenant is responsible for the value of the rent
for the entire term of the lease. But there are exceptions. If the owner
were to take you to court seeking the rent for the remainder of the lease term,
the owner would then be forced to plead damages, i.e., loss of rent.
If the owner has gone ahead and re-rented the place, there is no loss of
rent. If you have brought a replacement tenant to the owner and he/she
refuses to rent the place to the new tenant, then the owner has
"failed to mitigate his/her damages". This last requirement is often
dependent on local court practice and also depennds on what you do
and also on what the owner does. Did the ownner place ads in the paper seeking
a new tenant but was not able to get one? In this case you indicate the
owner has voluntarily foregone the ability to rerent the place and instead opted
for using the time to remodel. Of course nonne of this matters unless you are
dragged into court. I would speak to a local tenant attorney and keep tabs on
everything the owner does (or does not do).

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