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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33791
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Renter signed year lease relocating to, Owner tells them

Customer Question

Renter signed year lease relocating to Virginia, Owner tells them they must make lease after moving out until they find a new renter Question is this legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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If the tenant is breaking the lease to move, then the landlord can hold them liable for any lost rent until they re-rent the dwelling. A lease is a binding legal contract between tenant and landlord and either of them can enforce it in the event of a breach or sue for damages.

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However, if a tenant has to break a lease, the landlord has a duty to mitigate his damages by attempting to re-rent the unit as soon as possible. Once he does so, he can only hold tenant liable for his actual damages in the form of any lost rent and advertising costs. So if it takes him 1 or 2 months to rent it again, he can only hold tenant liable for that lost rent plus any advertising costs. The law seeks to put the non-breaching party in the same position they would have been in but for the breach.

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So to minimize any potential liability, if the tenant has to breach, they need to make sure to leave the place as close to spotless as they can so the landlord can immediately put it on the market and hopefully rent it quickly.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

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