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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54017
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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What is Texas law a lease early?

Customer Question

What is Texas law for terminating a lease early?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 7 months ago.
Hi Susan. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. If you leave early, you would be in default. But, don't let the landlord, the realtor, or the property manager intimidate you into thinking you would be responsible for the rent for the remainder of the lease term. That's because the landlord has a legal duty to mitigate. What that means is that even if you may not have the right to terminate your lease, once you notify the landlord you are terminating, the landlord has a legal affirmative duty to mitigate the damages by using reasonable efforts to re-lease the property. Once the property is re-leased, or if the landlord does not use reasonable efforts to re-lease, you would then be off the hook for further obligation. Given the current positive lease market, it is unlikely a judge is going to rule a landlord has satisfied the burden of using reasonable efforts to mitigate if the property is not re-leased within at least 2 months from the time you gave notice. This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could say you had no risk at all, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry! Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I texted the property manager on the 4th giving my 30 day notice that I would be moving to Florida for my business. Does that suffice legally as way to give notice? The landlord or property manager are making no attempt to find another tenant and say I am responsible until the end of my lease Nov. 30.
There are late fees and concern about my credit rating if I just don't pay.
Expert:  Richard replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for following up. I would follow up your text with a written notice confirming the fact that you sent them the notice on the 4th. It's likely a judge will allow the 4th notice to stand given they clearly had the notice. And, I would let them know of the information I provided above and let them know if they file any negative credit report against you for money you do not legitimately owe, you will be filing a defamation claim against them seeking not only your actual damages, but punitive damages as well.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
At what point am I able to stop paying my monthly rent? Am I entitled to get my deposits back which is 1 month rent and pet deposit? Would the information you've provided be better in a letter coming from you the attorney? If so. How much would you charge for the letter?
Expert:  Richard replied 7 months ago.
Since you have given the 30 day notice and are still living there having paid April rent, I would not pay rent beyond May. If you do pay May rent, I would demand your deposits back if there is no damage to the premises. That would essentially allow them the full rent for the 60 day notice period. I would not pay further and let them know if they do pursue you for additional rent or file any negative credit report, you will be contesting any suit and filing a counter suit for defamation. I will be happy to draft a template for you to send. I can do that for you through the Premium Services option offered by JustAnswer. If that would be helpful, let me know and I'll extend that offer and you can then decide whether or not to accept. Fair enough? If you send this letter, even though not from an attorney, they will know you have consulted an attorney. :)

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