Posted by TenantNet on December 07, 1996 at 03:51:00:
In Reply to: breaking a lease posted by dan seta on December 03, 1996 at 20:27:30:
: We decided two days after moving into a place that it was way too loud
: and that we would have to break the lease. We informed the landlord of
: this and helped them show the place to prospective tenants. They have
: re-rented the apartment, but we got a matter of fact letter from their
: attorney indicating that all of our security deposit has been used in
: finding new tenants, and that furthermore, should the replacement
: tenant not work out, we are still responsible until the end of our
We don't know the specifics of California law, but in many places the current
(soon to be former) tenant's obligation ends if and when the owner "mitigates
his damages" -- in other words, finds a new tenant. Many places will waive
the tenant's liability if the owner fails to make an effort to find a new tenant.
Here (and it depedns on your lease and on Calif. law) -- I would think they
should not be able to spend down your security deposit from the costs (if any)
in finding a new tenant. But that may be arguable. But definitely, when the
new tenant takes occupancy, any obligation you might have had ends. They can't
pull this baloney what might happen if the new tenant does not work out. It's
the owner's obligation to check out the new tenant and that tenant now has
obligations... not you.
As far as I can tell, they have set up an assignment or a sub-
: lease; either one without our consent.
They can probably assign, but only if you officially released the unit.
Subletting can only occur with your permission and involvement. Otherwise,
: Further they have not satisfied
: the requirements of California Civil Code 1950.5 which directs them to
: itemize any deductions from our security deposit within 21 days of our
: vacating of the premises. We never would have agreed to an assignment
: without novation, and certainly would not have agreed to such a sit-
: uation without at least meeting the prospective tenant. If this is
: anyone's area of specialty, please let us know if we are on target
: regarding this matter. Thanks in advance for your help.
I would talk to a local attorney or the Calif. Attorney General's office.
This sounds like a scam.
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