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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33247
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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The lease for our townhouse expires end of November, 2013.

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The lease for our townhouse expires end of November, 2013. On June 27, the landlord sent a letter saying we could get money off if we renewed the lease within the next three day. We had an option of renewing and signing the contract, declining to renew, or stating that we were undecided. We felt a bit pressured with time and the discount sounded good so we signed the lease. That night both of our cars were broken into. We called the landlady within 24 hours of signing the least and asked if we could change our minds and cancel the lease. We were feeling unsafe and weren't sure if the car events were random or specifically targeted at us. The landlady said we were legally bound by the lease that we signed and we have to stay on another year. The townhome doesn't allow tenants to break a lease, not even for a fee. They only provide the option of subleasing to someone else. Is there anyway we can get out of this lease? Thanks for your expertise!
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
Is there anyway we can get out of this lease?
From a purely legal perspective, the landlord is correct that the lease is binding as soon as you sign it. So you couldn't breach it without potential reprecussions.
If you do breach then the landlord can hold you liable for any lost rent until he re-rents the property. However, he has a duty to mitigate his damages by attempting to re-rent the property as soon as possible. So if it took him a month or two to rent it again, then he could hold you liable for that. The law seeks to put the nonbreaching party in the same position they would have been in but for the breach.
So if you can't find someone to sublease it and have decided to breach, you should make sure the place is spotless when you move out so the landlord can put it on the market immediately, rent it quickly, and limit any potential damages.






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