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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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I signed a lease and gave deposits but can't move in until

Customer Question

I signed a lease and gave deposits but can't move in until September 1. I now found that my son's school will not bus from there. I found another house to rent. Can I break this lease and get my money back?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.

No. If you have already signed the lease, you are responsible for renting the unit.

The landlord is entitled to hold you responsible for payment of rent until (1) he locates a new tenant; or (2) the end of the lease agreement. The landlord must make reasonable efforts to find a new tenant, but you are responsible for paying for the reasonable costs of advertising, etc. that he incurs.

Most courts will cap liability at 2-3 months, but this can be depending on local rental conditions.

You can try negotiating a mutual release with the landlord, but he has no legal obligation to agree to this.

If you cannot reach a mutual agreement through direct negotiations, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.