Post # 1
So when the BF moved in, the rent house I lived in suddenly got a lot smaller. The PERFECT rent house fell into out laps so we jumped at the chance to get a little more space.. only one problem, my lease wasn’t up untill October..
I emailed my current landlord and asked her if with three months notice she could terminate my lease early. She agreed and also stated that a new tenant would have to be found.
Now it is almost three months later and I move out the 1st of June. She has not found a new tenant, and is starting to hint around that I will not get my deposit back since it is not rented.
BUT she did NOTHING untill may 4th to try and rent it, and even then it was just a sign in the yard.. nothing went in the paper untill two weeks ago!!
What was the point of a three month notice?!
Do you think she can still keep my deposit?
Post # 3
I think she can since you technically terminated the lease prior to the term being up. Check your state’s tenant laws and what your lease states. In PA, if a tenant terminates the lease early, they automatically forfiet their security deposit.
Post # 4
I agree that she most likely has every right to keep it. You are breaking your lease…it’s really up to her whether or not she decides to let you have it.
Post # 5
You broke your lease, there’s not much you can do. It’s the price you pay for opting out of continuing to rent before your time is up. That’s how landlords protect themselves financially and why lease agreements exist. Otherwise everyone would just pick up and leave when they felt like it.
Post # 6
Post # 7
Did she maybe mean YOU had to find someone new? I know in college a friend of mine moved but had to find a tennant to replace her by herself. The landlord didn’t care who lived there, only that there would be someone living there and paying rent.
Post # 8
Breaking your lease doesn’t automatically mean you lose your security deposit. Most leases have contingencies to protect the landlord and tenent. A contract that only protects the landlord, and not the tenent, is not a legal contract…meaning you cannot sign a contract that takes away rights that are provided to you by law. There are laws protecting the tenent in every state. Find out what they are.
Look at your lease. Is there anything in there about losing your deposit if the lease is broken? Are there any provisions for breaking the lease early? Is there anything in the lease about mitigating damages?
When I broke a lease a few years ago, the landlord tried to tell me that I would forfeit my security deposit based on their policies. Unfortunately, for them, their lease stated I wouldn’t lose my deposit as long as I gave them two months notice. They tried to say that didn’t matter, but a judge told them it did and they had to return my security deposit.
They also also tried to charge me rent for the three months after I moved out because they didn’t re-rent my apartment. However, there was a clause in the lease that required that they mitigate their damages, which meant that they were required to make every possible effort to re-rent the apartment and if they didn’t do so, they could not collect rent for the months after I moved out. Well, the judge determined that they did not mitigate their damages, that they had had several tenents move into the building after I vacated, and they always rented out an apartment other than mine, so they were unable to collect the additional rent.
They also tried to collect money for damages, but they had taken three months to send me a damage report. By the terms of their lease, they were required to assess the damage and send me a report within 30 days. The judge asked them why they took so long letting me know the damage (which by the way were all fabricated and not true), and they said their lawyer said it didn’t matter how long they took. The judge told them they got bad legal advice and said they could not collect on the damages.
Here’s the kicker… I’m not the one who sued them, but the judge found in my favor 100%.
So check your lease. Read it thoroughly, and go to a lawyer who will give you a free consultation to see if there is anything you can do. It’s really worth it to find out your rights.
Post # 9
Yeah, she can totally keep the deposit. Moving out 3 months early was not part of the deal…and that deposit was there to protect her against a situation like this if she couldn’t rent out the apartment when you moved out.
Post # 10
Loribeth offers good advice. Most states require that they mitigate damages, but it’s unclear from your post if the landlord thinks you agreed to find someone based on your conversation. However, it can be very time consuming to go through a lawsuit to get your money back. A few tips:
Don’t cash a partial payment if you are still seeking a full payment of your deposit. (I, like Loribeth, had a landlord try to keep some money for damages – things like my roommate leaving a box of shoes out for trash a day early – but he didn’t provide a detailed list until the 60 days were up which was required by law.)
Try to post on craigslist or online apartment sites and help on renting it. Better to get it rented asap and figure out who owes what later. Odds are that the summer is a better time for the landlord for the lease to be up than in October, because more people move in the summertime.
Post # 11
Some apartment buildings require you to find another renter if you’re backing out early, but you’re still responsible for rent if they don’t pay. If it’s private, it’s different, but everything should be spelled out in the lease agreement.
We rent out a home and we had renters that signed a one-year agreement. They wanted to move out because his job moved to the other side of the city after living there for 5-6 months. It was dead of winter, and we stated we would try to find new renters, but they were still responsible for rent. They actually moved out, and we tried to find new renters but weren’t able to for 4 months. They had to pay the entire 4 months. If they didn’t, we would keep their deposit and also report them and potentially sue. It was all in the agreement up front. Once we found new renters, they got out 2 months early and their deposit back.
Post # 12
I think you lose your deposit, because you broke your lease, regardless of your verbal agreements. What does your lease agreement say about early termination? That would be what the “rules” are about your deposit.
Post # 13
Here is her response to my email asking if I could terminate the lease early with me giving her three months notice. I think she wanted to sell the house, and maybe that is why she has waited untill the last minuite… I need to read over my lease tonight when I get home! Ugh..
oh and btw this lady let herselfinto my home while I was in the shower… i should have moved out then!
I do appreciate you letting me know in time to get another tenant. This will make your lease terminate on May 31, 2011. Please send me your letter requesting the termination of the lease. March, April and May rent will need to on time. We will also require that we are able to find a new tenant that will have a move-in date of June 1st in order that we do not withstand a loss of rent. We may consider selling the house and do owner-finance for a qualified buyer. If you know of anyone who is interested, please send us their name or give them our phone number. I will need access to the house to show potential new tenants. When can you have it ready for me to show?
Post # 14
@lefeymw:that was a link to a pic of a cake!! hahaha
Well a piece of cake would help!
Post # 15
We will also require that we are able to find a new tenant that will have a move-in date of June 1st
EDIT: It keeps cutting me off. I think you might be stuck because of what she wrote. Did you try to help her rent the place with a craigslist ad or anything?
Post # 16