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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5436
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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Is a tenant responsible if they move out before the lease is

Customer Question

Is a tenant responsible for payments if they move out before the lease is over?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  NYFamilyAttorney replied 4 months ago.

Hello. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience. My practice is limited to family law and appeals, but I have many years’ experience with landlord-tenant issues, contract law, and other types of law. I also have written hundreds of legal articles. I look forward to helping you today.

Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site.

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Can you tell me what state you're in ? Thanks.

Expert:  NYFamilyAttorney replied 4 months ago.

I can't give you state-specific information but generally speaking a tenant is responsible only for that portion of the lease that the landlord is unable to re-rent. The landlord must not allow the apartment to stay empty but must reduce his damages (mitigate damages) by actively trying to get a tenant to take your place, if you are the tenant.

The landlord is not entitled to the remainder of the lease rent if it's unconscionable, for example, 8 months of rent. That wouldn't generally happen. The landlord must advertise the apartment for sale and must actively show the apartment.

If you have a lease, and you're the tenant, some of what you're responsible for may be in the lease as long as the clause is not unconscionable. It would be up to a court to interpret it. Sometimes a tenant may be stuck with a month or two but when the Landlord tries to get them to pay more than that, it usually backfires because the court usually doesn't believe that the landlord tried to actively seek a new tenant.

So your lease is important too because there may be a clause in it that says what happens in the event of your breaking the lease.

Does this answer your question? Let me know -- I'm happy to provide additional information for you if you need it.

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