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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37796
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I signed a rental lease last week and now want to cancel. My

Customer Question

I signed a rental lease last week and now want to cancel. My granddaughter was going to go to No. Ariz. Univ. but now is not going, so we don't need the apt. She never moved in (rent was to start in Aug). Can I cancel?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Arizona (Flagstaff)
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: I signed a lease (online)
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The lease said it needed to be notarized, but was not as far as I know
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses, but rest assured, I am working on your question. The website may offer a phone call option, but it is optional.

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The lease was binding the instant that it was signed and unless it has a cancellation option in it, then none exists as a matter of law.

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However, if you were to notify the landlord in writing that you are breaking the lease and will not continue on with the contract, that will trigger the landlord's legal duty to mitigate their damages and try to re-rent the property.

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If they are able to do so before the lease starts, then they have no damage and couldn't hold you liable for anything.

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But if for some reason they aren't able to rent it again, they could hold you liable for any lost rent until they do so.

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If you were to break the lease this early on, then it is extremely likely that they would re-rent it fairly quickly for the school year but you need to notify them immediately via certified mail so you have proof of an early breach.

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And no, leases don't have to be notarized to be legal.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister