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insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 55312
Experience:  Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
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Tenant moved out after signing a 1 year lease agreement. signed

Customer Question

tenant moved out after signing a 1 year lease agreement. signed it September 2015 and gave noticed 60 days that they would move out April 5 2016. can we keep their deposit or not for breaking the 1 year lease agreement.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. Can you provide me a bit more information? Is the property re-leased? If not, did you use reasonable efforts to try to re-lease it? If the property has been re-leased, is there a time gap between the time the tenant is moving and the new tenant takes occupancy? Did you incur any costs in re-leasing the property? Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No we have not released it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They had been tenants for two years prior to the signing of the third lease.
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for following up. You have the right to keep the deposit to pay for damages caused and lost rent (including the cost of re-letting the property due to tenant's default). And, if the deposit is not sufficient to cover the foregoing, then the tenant is obligated for the shortfall. BUT, this is subject to a landlord's duty to mitigate. What that means is that even if the tenant may not have had the right to terminate the lease, once the tenant notifies the landlord he is 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, then the tenant would then be off the hook for further obligation. So, if the tenant were to contest the landlord's withholding of the deposit, you would have to show you did use reasonable efforts to try to re-lease the property and were unable to do so. 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!

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