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barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37017
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I have been transferred within the U.S, Dept. of Justice from

Customer Question

I have been transferred within the U.S, Dept. of Justice from San Antonio, Texas to Houston, Texas. I had renew an apartment lease agreement before I knew I was going to transfer. If I knew I would have signed a 6 month lease agreement and not a 12 month lease agreement. I would like to buy a house in Houston within a year, but I have been told that if I break a lease it will create bad credit history for me even if I pay the relenting fee and on top of that I have to make all the monthly payments until the apartment is rented. I was wrongly accused by the landlord of running naked around the building where I live but later on she sent an apology on a card stating that they were mistaken in regards ***** ***** identity of the person. Could I get out of the lease legally based on harassment?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 2 years 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.
""Could I get out of the lease legally based on harassment?""
Harassment is considered a course of conduct intended to cause the recipient distress for no legitimate reason. So if this was a one time incident, then it wouldn't rise to the level of "course of conduct", so wouldn't be considered harassment.
However, if you were to simply breach the lease, under TX law the landlord has a legal duty to mitigate her damages by attempting to re-rent the property as soon as possible.
Once she does so, he can only hold you liable for her actual damages in the form of any lost rent and advertising costs. So if it takes her 1 or 2 months to rent it again, she can only hold you 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.
So to minimize your potential liability, if you have to breach, make sure you leave the place as close to spotless as you can so the landlord can immediately put it on the market and hopefully rent it quickly.
As for damaging your credit, the landlord would have to be a subscriber to the credit reporting services and pay a monthly fee to be able to report accounts. So if this isn't a big corporate landlord, it is unlikely that they would be a subscriber so any breach wouldn't show up on a credit report unless they actually sued you for any lost rent and got a judgment.
But typically, if they have a forwarding address for you, they will make a demand for any lost rent once they re-rent and if you agreed to pay, then there is no reason to sue so it wouldn't show up on a credit report.

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