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Re: breaking lease

Posted by TenantNet on January 16, 1999 at 02:45:00:

In Reply to: breaking lease posted by help on January 10, 1999 at 14:38:11:

: I signed a year-long lease in July of 1998 for a condo in CT. In October, I accepted a job offer out-of-state and notified the landlord that I would be moving in Nov and needed to break the lease (he lives in CA and the property is managed by a local realtor). He said that was fine as long as the unit was rented again.

: It was not rented by the end of November and I paid December's rent, even though I was no longer living there. It is now January, I did not pay January's rent, and the landlord is threatening "legal action." He still has my $2000 security deposit. I absolutely cannot afford to continue to pay rent while maintaining a new residence in another state. I find it strange it has not rented: it is in a high-demand area (Bridgeport-New Haven corridor).

: I read on a realtor's web page that landlords can submit debts to collection agencies - is this true?

: Could someone advise me as to any rights I may have, especially in view of a job transfer?

Laws differ from area-to-area, but especially in a high demand area, the owner would need to establish economic damages (i.e., lost rent) and he has an affirmative obligation to mitigate his damages. That means he must show he tried to re-rent the unit for the same rent (or slightly higher) and was unable to do so. You may lose your deposit. Tenants do have an obligation for the rent for the term of the lease, but your defense is the landlord's need to establish damages; don't accept what he says. Make him prove it.

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