New Zealand Law
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The problem with a lease for a fixed term is that the landlord is entitled to insist on payment of rent until the term expires, as I am sure his lawyer has explained. Generally if you can assign the lease or find a subtenant that will be sufficient for most landlords, but if you have signed the standard form lease commonly used, you remain liable until the end of the term in any event, if the assignee or subtenant defaults.
So where the landlord chooses not to take into account your personal circumstances, they can insist and enforce payment of rent until the end of the term. As this is a commercial tenancy, there are no grounds for early termination unless there are breaches of the lease. So in this situation it is important to find the subtenant or assign the lease, as otherwise you will remain liable.
Unfortunately therefore you don't have any real remedy because of personal circumstances, and will need to find someone to take over the lease
Please let me know if you have further questions