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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 3022
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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I cosigned a two year lease on a house with my twin 21 year

Customer Question

I cosigned a two year lease on a house with my twin 21 year old sons in Colorado. They have lived there for 8 months.
and would really like to move . The landlord send them and me a final notice for violations of breach of contract which included the lawn work and gates etc, they are expected to fix by Nov. 12 and will receive weekly inspections until then to make sure they are doing it . If not they will have to leave immediately.Can they take this as an opportunity to leave and get out of the lease? the security deposit is gone i would presume?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

Hello JACUSTOMER,

Breaking the lease would leave and your sons liable to the landlord for the balance of the rental payments for the lease term. Of course they can leave, but the landlord would be able to sue them for breaking the lease since the lease term has not expired. If the landlord does sue, the landlord will have to prove that he mitigated (or lessened) his damages as much as possible by re-leasing the house in a reasonable amount of time. So as a practical matter, the landlord is only likely to recover a couple of months rent if he decides to sue.

The other alleged breaches of the lease - the lawn work, gates - does not relieve your sons from fulfilling the other terms of the lease of paying rent. In other words breaching those conditions does not give your sons a right to end the lease prematurely.

It is unlikely that the security deposit is gone. Landlords are suppose to keep the security deposit until the end of the term of the lease and use it for repairs caused by the tenants or for unpaid rent when the tenants move out. It is not supposed to be used while the tenants are still in the premises.

Thomas

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