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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27621
Experience:  Attorney
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If you're a tenant and your landlord keeps threatening to

Customer Question

If you're a tenant and your landlord keeps threatening to throw you out just because they don't like you, then send you a email saying they're gonna put you out but you didn't breach the lease, do you have the right to leave before they serve you a notice? And are you still responsible for the balance of the lease if you didn't breach the lease?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. A landlord has no ability to evict a tenant who has not broken the lease before the lease ends. The tenant has a right to stay and force the landlord to go to court, then defend the case based on the fact that the eviction is illegal. If the tenant chooses to leave even though not legally required to do so, it would be best to get something in writing from the landlord stating that they're not liable for rent for the remainder of the lease. The tenant could also ask the landlord to pay THEM to leave (since they have a legal right to be there). But, yes, the tenant can move out before the date on the notice. They'll have to pay up until they leave, but the email is evidence that the landlord is the one who breached the lease (and forfeited the right to collect remaining rent). On top of that, if the tenant cannot find a comparable property for the same monthly rent, they can sue the landlord for the difference for the remainder of the lease period. If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I decided to leave so I'm moving the first of June. I tried to get the landlord to just release us from the lease but they said they're not letting us out of the lease so it can look like I just walked out on my lease. Then they told me if I leave, they're gonna sue me for the balance of the lease and I still have 2 years left on my lease. My landlord is really crooked.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Keep the emails. They can't both throw you out, terminating your lease, and sue you for unpaid rent. What you have to establish is that the landlord committed a total breach of the lease by telling you to leave. It would help your case if you'd found a new place to live BEFORE he told you that he didn't mean it - because at this point, if you haven't, and he's rescinded his statement that he's breaking the lease, a judge could find that you weren't justified in moving out.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Well I did find a place but I'm just moving in the first of June. So as of now I'm still in their property until my place is ready. They've made it so uncomfortable being there that I don't want to stay. My last question is if they breached the lease by saying they were gonna put me out and I didn't breach the lease, could I sue them for any money? Or do I just hit them with a counter lawsuit when they sue me?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
If the new place costs more than where you were staying, and it's comparable in terms of size and location, you can sue for the difference in rent. You may also have a claim if they don't return your security deposit, but there's no way to know about that yet.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Did you have any more questions about this?

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