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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16367
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I have rented an apartment from dec 2008 in fort worth tx .

Customer Question

I have rented an apartment from dec 2008 in fort worth tx . My contract will expire on 20th aug 2011. I bought a new home in may 2011 so I gave a notice to the apartment management on 3 month advance (31may 2011) not willing to renew my contract and mentioned I will vacate the apartment on June 13th and agreed if they didn't get any leassie I will pay up to the end of contract Aug 20th 2011, I returned the key and gave the total rental amount up to Aug 20 on June-06 . But apartment management rented this property to third party on july 15th and refused to give back my rental money (from July 15th to Aug 20TH). Just I want to know that am I eligible to get back my money. I wish to get the answer with where it is mentioned texas propery code no: 92 or somewhere
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.



What you are talking about is a Landlords obligation to "mitigate" his damages -- meaning the Landlord must try to rent the apartment using all reasonable means to fill the unit until the end of your lease term. This legal concept is not set forth in a statute anywhere -- it is a general legal concept that has developed through years of case law in Texas and all of the other states and it applies to ALL lawsuits where monetary damages are sought -- the party who is seeking the monetary damages in ANY case (car accident, propertry damage, etc) have an obligation to the other side to keep any damages that they might suffer to a minimum (for example, if you owned a house and the next door neighbor damaged the gradient soil and then your cellar started to flood. If your cellar has a drain system that can be turned on to drain the flood waters out, but you decide that you want your cellar re-done and you deliberately do not turn on the drain system because you want to sue your neighbor for the new cellar, you will not win this case for the amount of money that you are looking for -- because the court will tell you that because you owned the drain system you had an obligation to your neighbor to turn the drain system on and because you did not you will only receive minimal damages for minimal flooding rather than enough to repair your entire basement). So, your landlord / tenant situation is the same thing.


First, you should not have just paid the landlord for that money until the end of the lease -- you should have waited to see if the landlord rented the place before you offered up the difference in rent money -- because once you put something out of your pocket it is harder to get it back. At this point, unless the agencies you have contacted are able to intervene and help you get the money back for the months that the unit was leased after you left, then you can take the landlord into small claims court and your claim against the landlord is that the "Landlord rented the unit before my lease term was up and because the Landlord legally mitigated his damages I am entitled to a refund for the balance of the rent money for those months that the Landlord rented the unit before the end of my lease term." There are no specific statutes that you can cite here -- but I guarantee you that the court will know exactly what you are talking about when you bring the case. One last point is that you should review your lease because in a lease, the landlord can put language in there that states that the Landlord has no obligation to attempt to re-rent any unit that is vacated before the lease term ends for the previous tenant (in other words the landlord can state in the lease that they do NOT have to mitigate the damages of the tenant if the tenant leaves early) -- and if this language is in your lease and you agreed to this language when you rented the unit, then the judge will find in favor of the landlord and let the landlord keep your rental payments and the rental payments of the new tenant and it does not matter that those payments overlap and the landlord gets to double dip for a few months.


I hope that helps.




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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi attorney , thank you for your answer but I have a doubt , if I move to some where out of state are they accept vacate with out giving back the key, I paid fully amount because they will give the monthly statement very late and I may have to drive lot after works for pay the money and again for vacate . they may have to charge additional water bills that what i am not using because it common (total usage/ total residents)
Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

Hello again


I am afraid I do not understand your additional question -- can you clarify the question?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am not at all agree with the example that you have given . I paid the full amount that to avoid the inconvenience only not intended to sue. Normally they will send the monthly bill very late may be some time 28th of the month (because they have to add the water bills), I have to pay every 1st of the month if it delay 3 days they will charge 50 dollars. If I paid in advance I can avoid travel time, fuel cost, other inconvenience because I have a small baby to take care while my wife is at work. If I bought a house in Arizona so when I am moving to other state are they allow me to vacate the apartment with out giving back gate fobs, keys etc. If paid in full I can avoid the additional water bills they are charging.


When my friend moved this way from minnasota to arizona , their apartment management return all the money when they got a new leasie.



Expert:  Legalease replied 5 years ago.

In a perfect world all apartment managers would do the same as your friend's apartment manager did and return the money. Most of them will not do that and you end up having to take them to court to get it returned to you.