Posted by Fred Lappert on November 20, 1998 at 07:04:00:
In Reply to: lease termination fee posted by Alison on November 15, 1998 at 22:12:41:
: When signing the lease for our apartment our landlord told us, verbally, that if we were to have a job transfer or buy a house than those were the onlyh two things that would release us from paying the $450 termination fee set in our contract if we wanted to break our lease. Being that I work at home, and that I in no way thought that I would be buying a house in a year I was not concerned that this wasn't in writing. Well, it turns out ten months later I bought a house, and now my landlord is saying they never made that statement and I must pay the $450 term fee. Is there any way out of this? Is there any law or rights for tenants that buy a home and need to get out of their lease without paying ridiculous fees? By the way, they were able to release the apartment before we left, and we payed the rent when the apartment was vacant, per the lease agreement.
It may depend on the rules of where you are, and the exact wording of
your lease. Generally you are responsible for the rent for the term of
the lease, but landlord's lack of maintenance or other things can be
grounds for claiming the LL breached the lease. Do you have a witness to
these statements? Also, depending on the locality, the owner would need
to demonstrate he couldn't re-rent the place after a diligent effort. He
would need to show he tried to mitigate his economic damages, because
any claim he might have against you is that.. economic damages. You
may forfeit your deposit (but you could consider recovering that by
not paying the last month's rent). You don't want to screw the LL
necessarily, but don't get screwed in the process.
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