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I am a current tenant in a large corporate housing

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community. That being said they...
I am a current tenant in a large corporate housing community. That being said they have many fines and fees for just about everything.
I am currently needing to move to another town to be closer to my doctor. I am aware that there is no medical hardship clause in a Texas lease agreement, but I still need to leave. I’ve read other articles that talk about the landlord only being able to bill you for the time prior to them filling the unit. However, they have a 60-day notice policy and a $1500 fee when you break a lease. I can’t manage either of those things. Can they also sue me for that $1500 fee as well as the time it takes to find a new tenant?
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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1/3/2018
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney
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Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

No, they're not entitled to both. The $1,500 fee is basically what you're paying to break the lease without having to pay anymore. It means you pay the same amount whether they find a new tenant immediately or take 6 months to do it. Legally, you're not allowed to charge someone a penalty for breaking a lease. So, if they tried to charge you the $1,500 on top of lost rent, they wouldn't get it. It's only allowed when they're accepting that as an alternative to their actual damages.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reply WITHOUT RATING so I may address them. My goal is to provide you with excellent customer service. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so I get credit for assisting you today. Mobile users may have to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Ok that makes sense. What about the 60-day notice policy? Can they require me to pay those 2-months worth of rent along with the $1500? My goal is to move out this week.
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

They are allowed to charge the notice, because that's intended to ensure they have time to find a new tenant before you move out. Notice clauses in leases are unfortunately nearly always enforceable.

You could try to work out some kind of payment arrangement with them. It is extremely difficult to collect a judgment in Texas unless you have significant money in a bank account, so they might be willing to work with you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
The problem is they are a huge company. So the apartment manager really doesn’t seem to have any control over these policies or the ability to alter them or “work with you”. Believe me, I’ve tried before because they fine you for absolutely anything and everything. What you suggest I do if talking to them leads nowhere as I’m expecting?
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Even in large corporations, there is usually someone with some decision making authority.

They can't stop you from moving out. And they can't make you give them money you don't have. You can force them to sue you for whatever is owed when you leave. Or you could find a subtenant on your own. They can't charge you for breaking the lease if you find someone else to move in and take over the payments.

Another option is to file for bankruptcy, to discharge the debt. That's usually reserved for if you had substantial other debts you wouldn't be able to pay, and it would have a significant impact on your credit.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
What about legal fees. Do I have to pay those as well on top of the rent owed?
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

They are allowed to seek attorney's fees as part of the judgment. If they get it, that might be a reason to consider bankruptcy. The lease would have to give them this right, though.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Please rate my service positively, as this is the only way that I get paid for the time spent answering your questions. Mobile users may have to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Do you have any other questions about this?

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