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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27682
Experience:  Attorney
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Here is my question. We have any early termination from a

Customer Question

Here is my question.
We have any early termination from a rental home, which we where to keep till July31 2016. We moved out on May 15, and the LandLord has a new tenants to move in by June 1st. The house was left Clean and they have required us to give up the keys. we did. Now they say we do not get our deposit back because they found the tenant to move in and also we sent then a required e-mail with a 30 day notice
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. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. What does your lease say about early termination?How does finding a new tenant obligate you to forfeit your security deposit? (according to them)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
THIS LEASE BEGINS ON THE cOMMENCEMENT dATE AND ENDS ON THE eXPIRATION dATE UNLESS RENEWED UNDER pARA 4 EXTENDED BY WRITTNE AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES OR TERMINATED EARLIER UNDER pARA 27 BY AGREENMENT OF THE PARTIES tENANT IS NOT ENTITLED TO EARLY TERMINATION DUE TO ***** JOB OR SCHOOL TRANSFER ETC
wE UNDERSTOOD THAT WE WERE TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE RENT TILL jULY 31.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. That doesn't say the landlord gets to keep your deposit, and he certainly can't keep it if he's making you pay rent for June and July. Because new tenants are moving in June 1, you're only obligated to pay the rent until June 1. A landlord may not charge a tenant rent for time someone else is living in the property and he doesn't have access to it. You don't automatically forfeit the security deposit because you're breaking the lease. They can keep some of it if you didn't pay rent through the end of the month, or if the property was damaged. But if they keep the whole thing solely because you moved out before the lease was up, Texas law allows you to sue for 3x the deposit, a penalty of $100, and your attorney's fees. Tex. Prop. Code, Section 92.109. It's possible that if you tell the landlord that, they'll return your deposit minus any amounts they're legally entitled to.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
wE CLEANED THE HOUSE, AND LEFT IT BETTER THEN WHEN WE FOUND IT. wE bROUGHT A HOME IN THE CITY OF wINDcREST tx THAT IS WHY WE MOVED AND ALSO MY WIFE IS THE PRINCIPLE tENANT ON THE LEASE
aCTIVE DUTY military afThey also required us as of Monday to turn over the keys to them
which we did, and stated we are not allow back on the property and if they find any thing wrong that they would bill usOK I will stay on line They say because they found the new tenant Not US !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
It doesn't matter who found the new tenant. They can only collect rent for you in June and July if they're losing money because you broke the lease. Since someone else is moving in, they're not losing money.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
If you're talking about broker fees they had to pay because you broke the lease, that is something they might be able to charge you for, but look at the lease. And you can argue that, since you were never obligated to stay beyond the end of July, they would've had to pay that anyway.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thanks we very clearly understood that we were to be held accountable for the Rent till the end of July. We gave 30 notice of moving out on April 11 via E-mail and so stated we would be out on May 15. As it happen we were out and the agent requested very strongly that we turn over the Keys on Monday etc. Prior to that they placed a Lock Box on the Door.
They also say according to the section Early Termination they can keep our deposit
So the question should we Go to small claim ct and allow a judge to make the right and honest decision or should we just let them do this the deposit was 1500.00
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
They cannot keep your deposit solely because you broke the lease. That's an illegal penalty for breaking a contract, and it's not enforceable. They also CANNOT make you pay rent for June and July after someone else moved in - it doesn't matter what the lease says. Illegal clauses in a contract won't be enforced. Which means there's a good chance you'll win if you sue them in Small Claims Court unless they have some other basis for keeping your deposit.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Did you need any more help with this?