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I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that you're getting sued.
You're right that the landlord has to mitigate his damages. Also, if the landlord refused to accept your subtenant unreasonably, that cuts off your liability under the lease. If you could bring one of your friends to testify that they were ready, willing, and able to take over the lease, that could help. This is true even if your lease prohibits subtenants - because of the obligation to mitigate, they can't just randomly decide they don't want you to help find someone. It's fine if they want to use the waiting list they have, but then they can't charge you for the time the place is empty because that's their choice.
As long as you have evidence that there's a waiting list or that you had other tenants willing to move in, there's a good chance the judge will rule in your favor. Good luck.
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