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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33766
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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Me and my current roommates have been trying to get out of a

Customer Question

me and my current roommates have been trying to get out of a lease we signed for an apartment we have not moved into. We had an issue with our landlord trying to make us pay extra rent for a room in our house that he could not rent out. We decided to start looking for apartments and signed a lease (dumb on our part, I know). The person we dealt with told us we had 2 weeks to move in or else they would start looking for other renters. She never mentioned the policy that we had 24 hours to back out and also never gave us a copy of the lease. We resolved things with our landlord and called to say we would not be moving in. They then told us that since we signed the lease we would either have to sign the "lease breaking agreement" and pay 3 months rent or pay rent until someone moved in. After a couple meetings and trying to plead our case she said she would speak to her manager and get back to us. Today she called me and told me that they could file a "skip-out" and we would have to pay 2 months rent. I then told her we could consider it but would probably just move in since we can't afford to pay that on top of our current rent. I then received a call saying that they had already filed the "skip-out" form and that we cannot move in and must pay the fee. Is there anything we can do or did we screw ourselves by signing the lease? Sorry for the long read, I just don't know who else to go to for help.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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She never mentioned the policy that we had 24 hours to back out

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There is no right to cancel the lease once signed unless it specifically states it in the lease.

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If you signed the lease and break it, the landlord has a legal duty to try to re-rent it and mitigate their damages. However, if it takes them a couple months to do so, they can charge you for any lost rent.

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So if you signed the lease, you are legally bound to it. But if you notify them in writing sent certified mail that you are breaking the lease and you are aware that they have to attempt to re-rent to mitigate their damages, then you force them to try to rent it again and if they do so before you were to take possession, then they have no damages.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

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