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My fiance and I have a lease for another 6 months that since…

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My fiance and I have...
My fiance and I have a lease for another 6 months that since we signed he lost his job and I was hosptalized and am on disability that is hal of my income. My employeost their contract and my job will be ending October anyway. We live in Florida and the last time I sp oke to my landlord about this he said we would have to pay two months rent (3,000 dollars) and he would look for another tenant. We do not have this money and may have to move to a much cheaper place or even in with relatves. Is there anything we can do? I do not want bad credit or a judgement.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 31 minutes by:
9/18/2011
Real Estate Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16,440
Experience: 13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
Verified

Hello.

 

The landlord does not have the legal right to arbitrarily state that "if you give me 2 more months rent, then I will not pursue the other 4 months of the 6 months that you owe." If and when you leave, the landlord has a legal obligation to "mitigate" his damages, which means that from the moment that you notify the landlord of your final date at the apartment, the Landlord should advertise the unit and you should have it tidied up and ready to show prospective tenants. Only if the LL takes all reasonable steps to rent the unit and he has been unable to do so to fill the unit for all of the remaining time on your lease -- that is when the Landlord can send you a bill for all of the remaining months that was left on your lease in which he was unable to rent the apartment out to someone else for all or any of those months.

 

So, if you are unable to afford the 2 months that he is looking for to drop any additional months that he might pursue, your choices are then limited. You will have to simply wait to see if he files a civil lawsuit against you for the remaining months of the lease -- and if the LL does that, you must appear in court and defend against his suit by arguing that the LL did not do enough to mitigate his damages (keep his damages to a minimum) to pursue getting another tenant into the unit to replace you and your family -- you will have to watch the local advertisements for apartments to see if he is advertising your unit and also check around to see if he was using a realtor to try to rent the place and hopefully you will be able to find very little evidence that the LL tried to rent out your unit after you had to leave it -- and if that is what you find, then when you go to court you must testify that the landlord did NOT do enough to rent that apartment unit out to another party when you left it and then you hope that the judge will see the case in the light most favorable to you -- because if you lose the case completely the judge can order you to pay the full 6 months rent, plus court costs and fines and then the LL will be permitted to put derogatory remarks on your credit report unless you are able to pay those monies to the Landlord.

 

I hope that explanation helps and please let me know if you have more questions.

 

--MARY

 

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