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Recovering a portion of the loss in rental rate

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Recovering a portion of the loss in rental rate

Postby chrisdlindsey » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:56 pm

I had to terminate a lease early. The landlord found a new tenant but dropped the rental rate by $300 for the new tenant. Now, the landlord is threatening to sue me for this amount each month for the remainder of the lease term if I don't agree to pay it, which I would expect is terminated by the new lease terms. Am I responsible for this difference in the rental rate?

Chris in Alaska
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:52 pm

Re: Recovering a portion of the loss in rental rate

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:18 pm

Assuming you're not in NY State, and not under any form of rent regulation...

When a tenant leaves a unit before the lease ends, he./she is potentially liable for the rent for the remainder of the lease. That's the nature of the contract/lease you signed.

But if the landlord re-rents the place, then your obligation for the remaining rent is terminated.

In short, as long as the unit is empty, then you owe rent until the end of the lease. But if the landlord re-rents the unit, your obligation is over as long as the rent for the new tenant is the same or more than what you were paying.

I don't know the laws or case law in AK, but I would think that if the LL re-rented the unit for less than what is in your lease, then you might be liable for the difference.

Of course, a situation like this is open to negotiation. For the LL to enforce this, he needs to commence a court proceeding, which could be costly to both parties. At that time you would have the ability to make claims for reduction in the rent claimed if a) repairs were not made, b) services were not provided or c) you could prove harassment. Any of these defenses should be implicit in your lease or local law.

I would consult with a local tenant attorney.
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