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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118772
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I signed a two-year extension to a 2-year lease with a building

Customer Question

I signed a two-year extension to a 2-year lease with a building in Brooklyn, NY. The lease renewal started June 1, 2015 and runs until May 31st, 2017. In early January, I found out I needed to relocate for my work to Washington D.C. in March. I immediately contacted my building to determine what options I had to break the lease. I was told that I cannot break my lease and that I would have to do a lease assignment. I contacted a leasing agent and started the process in early February. They found 3 candidates, all of which the building declined. I reached out to them again in April, to see if they would let me out of my lease at the end of May, 2016 - after a year of renting the apartment. They declined again and have once again declined another potential renter for my apartment and have been rude to my leasing agents and have favored another leasing agent working the building. I have continued to pay my extremely high rent on time but at this point, it is becoming a huge hardship to pay rent in both NYC and Washington DC. I feel I have done my due diligence and tried to work with them but they have now just started to take advantage of me. Do I have any rights in this situation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. If your lease provides for an ability to assign a lease and the building is unreasonably denying acceptable candidates, your recourse is suing the building board for their arbitrary and capricious denials of the candidates. You would have to prove in court that their denials were unreasonable and without basis or merit and ask the court to award you damages in the form of a rebate for rent you should not have had to pay if they reasonably accepted the qualified candidates. Aside from court, the only other thing is to ask the building board who they will accept as a renter to get clear on what they are looking for.