Hypothetical:Under age female signs a rental lease for a male convicted felon (drug trafficing). They moved into the apartment together. Lease stated that you must be twenty-one to sign a lease and cannot be a convicted felon to live in the complex. Because the young male was a felon the apartment managers listed him only as a tenant and allowed the young female to sign the lease. Both young adults were using drugs, alcohol and marijuana. The lease stated that relocation was the only way the lease could be broken. The young male sold drugs for a living. Once he was caught and arrested again and sent to prison the young female (now pregnant) lost her job but was still using drugs and narcotics. She was not able to pay rent and most likely would have been evicted from the apartment if she had stayed. When her son was born children services took the newborn right away. Her maternal aunt obtained custody of the baby and children sevices transferred to case to the county were the aunt resided. The young female had to relocate as well.The young female now is clean for almost two years and is working full time. She has a full time job and has worked very hard to get to where she is today. But none of this would have happened without relocating. The Corporation is suing for $3,500.00. Does the young female have any options?
Hello,If the female breached the lease by failing to pay the rent, then the landlord would have grounds to file suit for breach of contract and could potentially hold the female liable for up to the remaining term of the lease contract..However, upon the female vacating, the landlord would have a duty to mitigate his damages by attempting to re-rent the unit as soon as possible. So if it took 2 months to rent it, landlord could only hold tenant liable for 2 months rent. Landlord can only recover actual damages as the law seeks to put the non-breaching party in the same position they would have been in but for the breach..As for the relocation issue, it would depend on exactly what "relocation" is defined as in the lease as to whether she had grounds to terminate. .So if the landlord/corporation is now suing her, she would have to defend by proving that her "relocation" was within the intended meaning of the lease contract. If she can't do so, the plaintiff will get a judgment against her and then be able to try and collect on it..
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13 yrs practice, Realtor, Landlord 24+ yrs
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