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J. Warren
J. Warren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2211
Experience:  Experience in residential real estate and commercial leases.
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I signed a lease and paid a deposit rental property on the

Customer Question

I signed a lease and paid a deposit for a rental property on the 8th. On the 10th I informed them I would like to cancel the lease. It would not have gone into effect until the 23rd of the month. They state they will not terminate the lease or refund my deposit for damages. How is this legal? No damages were incurred due to never taking possession of the property and the lease not beginning.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  J. Warren replied 5 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only 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 expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry you are dealing with this situation and I wish that I could provide a response that you are hoping to hear. However, a lease is based on contract law and the hard nosed approach by the landlord, while unreasonable, is legal. Typically what I suggest to landlords I represent in situations like this is to let the tenant know that all efforts will be made to lease the space before the 23rd and if we are successful then the deposit will be returned, if not we will deduct the amount for the loss in rent. That is a fair and reasonable approach but is not necessarily what the law says a landlord must do.

However, the one thing that the landlord is legally obligated to do in these situations is mitigate damages, that is find a tenant to rent the unit as soon as possible. State v. Boyle, 344 N.E.2d 302 (Ind. Ct. App. 1976) obligates the landlord to find a tenant. Therefore, if a tenant is found before the 23rd, you are correct there are no damages. Here is a cite to the case I referenced: https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5969313327675036249&q=State+v.+Boyle,+344+N.E.2d+302&hl=en&as_sdt=6,38

You may want to remind the landlord of this obligation and if they do not actively attempt to find a new tenant and you can prove they sat on their hands, you may be able to recover funds or defends against a claim of money owed to them.

All my best and encouragement. Thank you for allowing me to help you with your questions. I realize this was not the answer you were hoping to receive however I have done my best to provide information which truthfully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! Please press a positive rating above this message box in the ratings section so I will be paid for my time assisting you on this matter. Pressing a positive rating will not cost any additional money - it is simply the trigger used by Just Answer to pay me for my time (pressing the middle star or the fourth or fifth star on the right are all positive rating buttons).

Expert:  J. Warren replied 5 months ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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