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,
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