Real Estate Law

Have real estate law questions? Ask a real estate lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

I have a lease break. Here are the details: On December 29th…

Hi, I have...

Hi, I have a lease break. Here are the details:

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

On December 29th I gave official notice to the office.On January 6th I handed in my keys to the manager on duty. At this point the apartment had been professionally cleaned (both carpets and interior). Although the carpets needed to be cleaned again and I accept that.I had attempted to rent the unit on my own for about a weeks time over Christmas and upon speaking to Dani she informed me that it would be much better to just do a lease break as she would list the property on the Renwood site that garnered a lot of traffic. After speaking to her I decided to go this route - although as a licensed property manager myself for more than 7 years, I have a lot of experience listing and marketing rentals.On January 15th I logged onto Craigslist and the Renwood site to see the property and it was nowhere to be found. I emailed into the office and was told by Chris Neugubauer that there was an application in on it (although not approved) so they took the listing down while the potential tenant was screened. I am not sure why an ad for an apartment would be taken down if not officially rented. I inquired how long the ad would be down - essentially how long the application process would take and was told by Chris " Unfortunately, I am unauthorized to share that information with you once it is completed you will be notified." I did not ask for specifics on the applicant just a basic timeline as to what to expect and when the ad would be back up again.On January 21st (7 days later) I had not heard from anyone regarding the status of the unit and I logged onto the Renwood web-site to discover that the unit was listed again but with an available date of January 23rd (I have a screen shot of this). I wrote to Chris again asking why this date was listed when it should have been available immediately. He responded that he did not know but that he would pass along my note to Dani in the morning.On January 22nd Dani returned my email and said that she did not know why it was showing as available on the 23rd. That it might have had something to do with me putting in my notice and then the system tacking on 20 days.Now I am hit with a fee of $1,000+. This is unacceptable in light of the marketing mistakes that happened continually and most likely contributed to the unit not being rented for more than a month. No one took responsibility or ownership of these mistakes and instead it was a game of pointing fingers and each other and shrugging it off. The effort that was put in was not sufficient to mitigate my losses due to the fact that it was not advertised and when it was it was advertised incorrectly with a date much further out. This is the legal responsibility of the landlord and it was not performed (RCW 59.18.310). The management company is now telling me that they took a "holding fee" and took my unit off the market for 7 - 10 days. Then the applicant backed out. To me, this does not seem that my losses were mitigated. Thoughts?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Paperwork for what? A lawsuit?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No - is this a live person?

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Answered in 1 minute by:
3/9/2018
Gerald-Esquire
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,113
Experience: Over 30 years of experience
Verified

Hello,
Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me while I review your question. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
WA state

I am working on your answer now. I am sorry for the delay. It takes some time to prepare a complete answer. Please note the phone call requests are generated automatically from the system. I do not control them.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question

Hello,

Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

If you have an early termiantion of the lease there are a number of factors that get weighed by the court to determine what if any money the tenant owes the landlord for breaking the lease.

The first thing that you have to look at are the terms of the written lease. What was agreed to when the lease was entered into.

BUT beyond the lease agreement the landlord has an obligation to "Mitigate" thier damages. This means that they are obligated to rent the apartment to a qualified tenant if one is available.

The other interesting issue that arises in the fact pattern that you describe was the promise by the agent of the landlord to advertise and finda qualified tenant. They also went further and dissuaded you from finding a substitute tenant. These actions create a legal issue called "Estoppel." By telling you the things they were going to do to mitigate damages, and disuading you from finding a substitute tenant, they created a situation where you reasonably relied on their statements to your detriment. When this happens the law allows you to defend against their claim by asserting that you were justified in relying on their assertions and that they should be bound to those assertions. This "Promissory Estoppel" is an equitable defense and you must raise it to the landlord in disputing their claims.

If they have refused to return your security dep[osit based on this situation you may wish to sue them in small claims court for the return of the deposit. You may also claim punitive damages and be awarded them if the Court determines that the landlord was unreasonable.

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow-up questions, feel free to ask.

If you ask a follow-up question and I do not respond immediately, it is because I am temporarily unavailable. I promise to respond as soon as I return. Please note that I am often unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response, PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or, if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you, and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question

Also see this link for additional information that may be useful to you:

https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/resource/your-rights-as-a-tenant-in-washington

ind regards,

Gerald

(Please do not forget to rate me – click the five stars. It adds nothing additional to your costs, but it helps me greatly. Plus it is good Karma for you. Thank you.)

Gerald-Esquire
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,113
Experience: Over 30 years of experience
Verified
Gerald-Esquire and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Excellent. Thanks so much - this is very helpful.

Thank you. Good luck.

Ask Your Own Real Estate Law Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask Gerald-Esquire Your Own Question
Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,113
5,113 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 30 years of experience

Gerald-Esquire is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

5,436 satisfied customers

17 years of legal experience including real estate law.

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

11,126 satisfied customers

17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

7,785 satisfied customers

Experienced lawyer

Ray

Ray

Lawyer

7,559 satisfied customers

Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

6,207 satisfied customers

I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.

Dimitry Esquire

Dimitry Esquire

Attorney

5,526 satisfied customers

JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

4,925 satisfied customers

Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.

< Previous | Next >

Related Real Estate Law Questions
My son is renting an apartment in Grand Rapids while in
My son is renting an apartment in Grand Rapids while in school there. He wants to sign a lease for the following year yet the property management company told him someone is coming in this Friday to s… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
I received a rental deposit refund with damage deductions. I
I received a rental deposit refund with damage deductions. I am disputing the damages deducted from it. Can I still cash the check while still disputing the amount? Or will cashing the check state tha… read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
1,090 satisfied customers
Failure to give possession of rental apartment due to not
Failure to give possession of rental apartment due to not submitting paperwork to condo board… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
29,402 satisfied customers
If my apartment was a total loss from fire damage - an i
if my apartment was a total loss from fire damage - an i automaticlly out of the lease? … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
29,402 satisfied customers
I moved from an apartment in Hagerstown Md and the owner
I moved from an apartment in Hagerstown Md and the owner lives in Ca. He is keeping my deposit saying that the apartment needs to be returned to the condition that the apartment was in when I moved in… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
Is the land lord responsible for damage to a tenants car
is the land lord responsible for damage to a tenants car caused by bumper stops in the parking lot. the damage was caused by rebar not driven all the way in and left sticking up out of the bumper. … read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,928 satisfied customers
We had a water damage in our house and with the help of a
We had a water damage in our house and with the help of a public adjuster, we were given monies to do repairs to the house. Since I was told not to use any monies for anything other than repairs, we s… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
JD
19,287 satisfied customers
I've been bullied and defrauded by an apartment complex.
Hello. I've been bullied and defrauded by an apartment complex. Would like legal help in this regard … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
Do I have to show "damages" to file or for this action to be
Do I have to show "damages" to file or for this action to be successful. If so what constitutes "damage"?… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,126 satisfied customers
My daughter is renting in Seattle and had water damage in
My daughter is renting in Seattle and had water damage in her unit to the extent that walls and the kitchen cabinets were removed. Management moved her into another building, she continued to pay rent… read more
WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58
JD Honors Graduate
4,052 satisfied customers
Wind damage caused the root system of a tree to start
Wind damage caused the root system of a tree to start falling over towards my neighbors house. The tree is on our property. The neighbors had an estimate completed for emergency service. It says that … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
11,587 satisfied customers
Can we sue neighbors for emotional damages, defamation of
Can we sue neighbors for emotional damages, defamation of character and Loss of finances because of their loud noise? The downstairs neighbors are always screaming and yelling, cursing at their child,… read more
Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire
Lawyer
5,113 satisfied customers
My rental was heavily damaged by "occupant" in only 8
My rental was heavily damaged by "occupant" in only 8 months, but all rents have been paid. On 1/10/18 I was notified by lessee about abandonment. The lessee signed off supposedly funding to support t… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
We live in an apartment. These apartments all have nice
Hi, we live in an apartment. These apartments all have nice backyards and we were told we could do whatever we wanted with the yard once we moved in. We planted 3 queen palms in front of our bedroom w… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I'm a tenant at an apartment complex, the apartment complex
I'm a tenant at an apartment complex, the apartment complex has served me a 3 day eviction notice for "slamming doors" and they now, with the complaints of other neighbors, are saying there is proof o… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
29,402 satisfied customers
I currently live in apartment that had water damage in
I currently live in apartment that had water damage in August of last year. The repair was not done properly and now 4 months later, the paint is peeling, bleeding and I suspect that there is mold and… read more
Bruce Schreiber
Bruce Schreiber
Juris Doctor
303 satisfied customers
A building contractor did water damaged work on my apartment
a building contractor did water damaged work on my apartment and i signed a contract with him and after the work was done he changed the dollar amount to a higher amount. the contract stated not to ex… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,236 satisfied customers
We have water damage in our apartment and I feel that
We have water damage in our apartment and I feel that management is doing what they supposed to do , or following protocol … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,236 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x