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Broke lease, but provided new tenants, no security deposit?

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Broke lease, but provided new tenants, no security deposit?

Postby texasrenter940 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:19 am

I recently moved out of a house I was renting 2 months early. I have a 9 month old baby and have been needing an additional bedroom for him to sleep in at night. I posted the current house I was renting on Craigslist and immediately received a large amount of interest. After talking to several people I found an older couple with good verifiable income and no criminal history. I contacted my landlord and told him of my situation and that I had located a couple I thought he would approve of if he would let me out of my lease early. I had found a great deal on another house and signed a lease, but told him I was willing to stay at his property as long as it took to find a suitable replacement.

Landlord was very angry initially, and said I would not get any of my deposit back since I was breaking the lease. I told him that I was more than willing to stay the length of the lease if necessary, I was just hoping we could work some thing out since we had not had any prior issues. He agreed to meet the interested renters.

After interviewing them, he sat me down and said he wasn't going to "make my life a living hell or anything" and we could complete the process "amicably". He told me the renters were interested in moving in within a week and a half so I quickly moved my belongings out. I shampood all the carpets in the house and cleaned anything else that needed to be cleaned. I was very detailed and even moved large items to the dump that he had not previously moved out for me when I initially moved in. I offered to mow the lawn as well but he said he would take care of it, as he had some details he wanted to attend to regarding landscaping.

I contacted him after everything was complete. He came over and we did a walkthrough. He immediately commented on the cleanliness, even taking his shoes off to feel the carpet. He said all that needed to be done was a lot of touch up paint because of pictures we had put up. I asked him if he could provide an itemized list so I could see how much of the deposit I would have returned. He said he would mail me it soon.

I moved out on the 25th of March, providing the keys, garage door opener, and a letter stating all occupants had vacated and new provided tenants could move in when landlord deemed appropriate. New tenants moved in on the 28th. My original lease was to May 5, 2015. I sent him a letter on the 7th through certified mail with a forward in address.

When I acquired the replacement tenants, I told them the landlord would prefer them to sign a new, year long lease. I also informed them the rent would be $1350.00, instead of $1250, since he had stated rent would increase to this number after our initial lease expired. This was completed just fine.

Three weeks later I receive a letter from the landlord. It merely highlights a provision of the lease that states that if any provision of the lease is broken, you forfeit the deposit. It also states that I broke my lease by allowing my brother to move in, even though this was approved 6 months into the lease. It was not however, put into writing. My brother took the checks for rent to their house several times and I was shocked they we're using this as a reason. I never received any letters stating I had an" illegal" occupant and he needed to be removed and this was only mentioned when the security deposit was in question.

I feel that even though I broke my lease, I provided new tenants, who they approved. They were moved in 10 days early, my rent had still been applied to that month and the landlord had them sign an entirely new lease. There was no damage to the house and I never even received an itemized list because LL claims I broke the lease and thus would automatically forfeit the deposit. I feel that I did everything to mitigate any losses by the landlord, as there were none at all, and no he is keeping my deposit out of spite and trying to use any reason he can. Is this legal or should I pursue in small claims court?
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Re: Broke lease, but provided new tenants, no security depos

Postby TenantNet » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:12 am

Go for it. Also contact your state's attorney general's office. But be aware you are in Texas, land of Bush and Perry.
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