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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11258
Experience:  I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
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I want to break my contract and the landlords wanted me to

Customer Question

I want to break my contract and the landlords wanted me to pay two month in order to release me from contract. what to do minimize loss?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Good Evening, Ahmad, and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provided you with Excellent Service,


1. How long is the lease term (1 year ? 2 Years ? )


2. How many months are left in the lease term ?


3. What is your reason for wanting "out" of the lease ? Relocation? Military Service ? College ?


4. How many months did landlord take for security deposit ?


5. What is the monthly rent ?


6. Are there any defect in the apartment which landlord has not repaired ?



Thank you,





Customer: replied 10 months ago.

1. the contract is less than year 10 month

2. 4.5 month

3. going back to my country

4. 535$, I recentrly take over the contract from my friend and he want to convince me to pay extra money since I was live in another apartment with the same land lord.

5. 535$

6. 1135$

7. yes

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your additional information,


Under the laws of the State of Washington, a Lease which is properly executed by the landlord and the tenant is an enforceable contract. If the lease is for one year and the tenant leaves sooner, the landlord can hold the tenant liable for the payment of rent for the balance of the lease term.


The Revised Statutes of Washington, RCW Section 59.18 contains the "Washington Landlord-Tenant Act and it provides only 4 reasons for which a tenant can break a lease without being liable to the landlord. A tenant is permitted to break a Lease if


1. The tenant is called to Military service (RCW 59.18.200)


2. The tenant needs protection from domestic violence (RCW 59.18.575):


3. The tenant is threatened by a neighbor with a deadly weapon, and the landlord does not evict the neighbor; or the tenant is threatened by the landlord with a deadly weapon, resulting in an arrest; (RCW 59.18.352, RCW 59.18.354); and


4. If the landlord fails to make necessary repairs to the property within a reasonable amount of time after the tenant informs the landlord that something in the apartment needs repairs ( RCW 59.18.090) If the repairs that you mentioned were not performed by the landlord and the property is "uninhabitable", you can leave without any liability to the landlord. But, in these cases, the problems in the apartment must be "substantial", not a little item which the landlord did not repair


But, and this is a big But - There are certain exceptions


1. Washington law requires that a landlord "mitigate" his damages, (to "lessen" his damages). In other words, if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease term, the landlord cannot leave the apartment vacant simply because he knows he can hold the tenant liable for rent for the balance of the lease term. The law imposes on the landlord the obligation to find a new tenant. The law expects the landlord to do whatever he normally does to find tenants, for example, List the apartment in the classified section of the newspaper; (2) List the apartment with a real estate rental agent; (3) Post "For Rent" signs in front of the apartment, at local colleges, supermarkets, and other public places where the public will see the signs.


2. The landlord must list the apartment for rent at a reasonable rental amount. IN other words, if the tenant who left was paying $500 per month, the landlord cannot list the apartment for rent at $1,000 and then claim he has lost rental income of $1,000 per month;


3. You, as the tenant are also required to try and find a subtenant to take your place for the balance of the lease term, or if he wants, the landlord can write him a new lease.


4. If the tenant (You) find a subtenant, the landlord must not unreasonably refuse to consent to the new tenant.


Ahmad, from a realistic standpoint, if you are returning to your home country, I cannot see howthe landlord can possibly sue you, and alet me give you an example of why he cannot sue you.


Let us assume that you are returning to your home country. You paid your rent on June 1, 2013, for the month of June. You make flight reservations for June 20. You leave for the airport on June 20, 2013 with all your personal belongings, leaving nothing belonging to you in the apartment.

Even if the landlord knows you are leaving June 20, 2013, he cannot sue you because you have already paid the June rent on June 1, and the July rent is not due until July 1, 2013. So, there is nothing for which the landlord can sue you. When July 1 comes around and Ahmad is not here to pay the rent, how is the landlord going to sue you ? He certainly is not going to travel halfway around the world just to find you and sue you.


If you are planning to return to the United States and live in the State of Washington, then you might want to either negotiate some kind of settlement with the landlord so that he can give you a signed Release, or you would want to find a subtenant to complete the balance of your lease term of 4.5 months,





Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit

for assisting you,



Bonus and Positive Feedback on survey is very much appreciated,




Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11258
Experience: I have practiced law for 25 yrs. with an emphasis on real estate, business law, criminal defense and family law.
Andrea, Esq. and 14 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

but if I find subtenant Iam afrid landlord will ask extra debosit from subtenat? that what Iam afrid of.

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

The landlord has the right to request a security deposit from a subtenant and when he receives it, he will return your security deposit, since you no longer live in the apartment. A security deposit is standard in all leases and it is a way for the landlord to protect his property against damage which a tenant might do during his occupancy. You are probably very neat and clean and do not damage any part of the landlord's property, but there are some tenants who are very destructive. I had a tenant who cut the carpet which I had just installed. They did it just because they felt like it, no other reason.


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of service,






Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I mean Increse the deposit from 500 to 2000

Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 10 months ago.



I meant to ask you why you thought that my service to you was only "OK" service after I had done all the research and also gave you the relevant law. I take great pride in my work and I believe that I deserved more than just "OK Service".


I also gave you a correct Answer when you asked about the landlord asking for security from a subtenant, yet you gave me a "Poor Service" rating, What was lacking in my service to you ? What else could I have added to my Answer. You have embarrassed me with the website and it reflects very badly on my reputation with the website.


Rating an Expert's service has nothing to do with whether you like the law which applies to your situation or not. I am giving you well-researched Answers under Washington Law, I am not making anything up. This is strictly under the laws of Washington. I cannot change the law. I am here to help you by giving you honest and correct Answers and you have completely embarrassed me.

Customers come to JustAnswer because they respect the fact that we give accurate Answers so that they know what steps to take. I have an ethical obligation to give you only correct Answers and you reward me with "Poor Service" ?


Any deposit you made was with JustAnswer, not me and I do not have any of your deposit. By rating my service to you as "Poor Service" I will not receive any credit for all the time I spent researching your questions under Washington Law. And, it reflect very badly on my reputation with the website. Is it fair to give me a poor rating because you disagree or do not like the law that is applicable to any part of your questions ? It is not fair to me at all. How would you feel if you were trying very hard to please me and I gave you a Poor Service rating because I did not like the law that was applicable to my case. That would not be fair to you at all just as it is not fair to me.

I will respectfully XXX XXX of your question since I cannot seem to give you the Excellent Service that everyone else tells me that I give to them. And, I will not lie and give you wrong Answers . Your question will be open to other Experts and they will have the opportunity to review your questions, My Answers under Washington Law, and also the poor rating you gave me and maybe another expert might be able to help you,


Thank you and I wish you the best of luck,



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