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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34029
Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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We needed to break our lease early. We sent an email to our

Customer Question

We needed to break our lease early. We sent an email to our landlord and told them we need to leave. We said we would start immediately to advertise and find new tenants. They told us that it wasn't a problem and they would handle searching for a new tenant. They waited a couple weeks and then posted the place for $1000 higher rent than what we were paying. Of course nobody responded. 3 weeks after we sent the notice, they said that we would have to keep paying rent until they found somebody. As I understand it, we should be able to look for somebody to try and minimize any losses. I'm pretty sure I could have found a tenant right away at what our lease amount was for. At the very least I could have lowered it and paid the difference myself. Are we in the right?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 11 months ago.
Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.
Expert:  Loren replied 11 months ago.
I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Presumably, yes, you can find your own subtenant and make up any difference if you charge a lower rent, but unless you have a lease provision allowing early termination, you are liable for the rent until the end of the lease term.
Also, you need to check your lease to see if subleasing is allowed. Most leases will require the landlord's prior consent. Hopefully, it also provides that any denial must be reasonable.
So, your best bet is to advertise for your own tenant. If the landlord refuses a new tenant or subtenant then you can use that as a defense in a lawsuit for breach brought by the landlord.
You can also try to negotiate a lump sum payment to the landlord to cut off liability. If you do negotiate a settlement, just make sure is is in writing and signed so that it is enforceable.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The landlord has a posting on Craigslist for much higher rent than we are paying. I asked the landlord twice if we can advertise ourselves for the amount we are paying and they asked us not to do that. If I go against their wishes, there will be two ads for the same property at different prices. I suspect it will also anger them if I do.
Should I continue to pay rent for the next month? I gave them notice last month.
Should I leave the property? I read that my ability to negotiate will be crippled if I relinquish the premises.
Expert:  Loren replied 11 months ago.

Does your lease give you the right to sublet?