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Can you break a lease the day you sign it Before you move…

Customer Question
Can you break a lease...
Can you break a lease the day you sign it? Before you move in? In Virginia
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
6/28/2010
Real Estate Lawyer: P. Simmons, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37,691
Experience: 12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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psimmons :

No, you can not...a lease is a contract that is binding on both sides when you enter into the contract.

psimmons :

If you have a valid lease and you break the lease, the landlord can sue to collect for the damages they suffer due to your breaking the lease. So if you had a year lease and leave without paying any of the lease, the manager could sue to recover the money they have lost.

Customer:

So as soon as you sign you are stuck even if you haven't moved in?

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Real Estate Lawyer: P. Simmons, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
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Real Estate Lawyer: P. Simmons, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Now, there is a requirement (in all states but NY) that the landlord take steps to "mitigate damages". That means, the landlord needs to attempt to rent out the property and, if they do the income will offset what you owe. For example, if you leave at the start of the lease, but they rent for the same amount each month one month later, you would owe only 1 months rent. But if it takes 6 months to rent...you guessed it, you owe 6 months.

If you want out, the best way is to negotiate with the landlord a settlement. Perhaps you offer 1 or 2 months rent up front to cancel the lease...this saves them from having to mitigate damages and having to sue you to collect and gets you out knowing the cost up front. I would try and negotiate an amount you are comfortable with
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Real Estate Lawyer: P. Simmons, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Yes, as soon as you enter the contract, you in the lease.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Relist: Answer quality.
Real Estate Lawyer: P. Simmons, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
The answer is correct and the quality is high. Please accept.

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