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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I live in a rental community in Watching, NJ and my lease is

Customer Question

I live in a rental community in Watching, NJ and my lease is about to expire. Have been living here for several years on 12 month lease extension, but now need to move away in a couple of month. Talked to the lease office, and found out that there are reduced lease terms, e.g. 3 month, 6 month, etc. that would not cause any increase in the monthly rent, but when I asked for a reduced term, I am being told that the apartment building I live in belongs to another township (North Plainfield, NJ), which only allows 12 month extensions. Also, if I need to break the lease earlier I will need to submit a written request and pay an additional two monthly payments. Can this be possible?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

If you want to terminate your lease early, your landlord can hold you liable for the full term of the lease, or until the landlord finds a new tenant to take possession of the unit (whichever happens first). The landlord must use reasonable efforts to find a new tenant. (See: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/tenants-right-break-rental-lease-new-jersey.html).

You are permitted to negotiate a lease termination agreement (it appears that the landlord is offering to allow you to break the lease in exchange for payment of 2 month's rent, ending your liability). You can accept this contract, renegotiate it, or refuse the contract and simply break the lease and force the landlord to find a new tenant, in the meantime understanding that you are responsible for paying rent until they get a new tenant in the unit.