21 Aug What Happens If You Break the Lease Early?
What Happens If You Break the Lease Early? – Everything you need to know as a tenant.
The landlord-tenant relationship is created by a contract between the parties. This contract is known by a variety of names, such as rental agreement, lease, or month-to-month agreement. Thus, since the lease agreement is essentially a contract between the landlord and tenant, normal contract rules apply.
When a tenant signs a lease agreement, a contract has been formed. Therefore, both sides have rights and responsibilities that need to be enforced. Landlords have a legal responsibility to provide the space for the unit to be occupied, while tenants have a legal responsibility to pay rent for the entire lease term, whether they continue to live in the rental unit or not, with some exceptions.
For whatever reason, whether it is personal or business, there is going to be that time where you have the break the lease and move to another home. Tenants who break a lease for reasons unrelated to problems with the home or the landlord are technically liable for paying rent for the duration of the lease, which most leases are for 1 year. For example, if a tenant moves out in month 9, when the lease is for 1 year or 12 months, you may be liable for the extra 3 months left of rent, even if you give extensive written notice of your move out. This is because the same way the landlord is not suppose to rent your apartment to anyone else since you are living their, the landlord is expecting to receive monthly rent for the entire lease term.
So what happens if you break the lease early?
According to Civil Code 1951.2, a termination of lease, if a lessee of real property breaches the lease and abandons the property before the end of the term or if the his right to possession is terminated by the lessor because of a breach of lease, the lease terminates and the landlord may recover from the tenant
(1) The worth at the time of award of the unpaid rent which had been earned at the time of termination;
(2) The worth at the time of award of the amount by which the unpaid rent which would have been earned after termination until the time of award exceeds the amount of such rental loss that the lessee proves could have been reasonably avoided;
(3) Subject to subdivision (c), the worth at the time of award of the amount by which the unpaid rent for the balance of the term after the time of award exceeds the amount of such rental loss that the lessee proves could be reasonably avoided; and
(4) Any other amount necessary to compensate the lessor for all the detriment proximately caused by the lessee’s failure to perform his obligations under the lease or which in the ordinary course of things would be likely to result therefrom.
Therefore, even though a Landlord can come after you for not paying the leftover rent, the landlord is still required to mitigate their damages. Once the mitigation is completed, the landlord than can come after you for the missing money that was not rented out to you.
Contact the Law Office of Aaron Kohanim today to schedule a consultation. You can call us at (310) 861-7506. If you prefer to send a quick message, visit our Contact Us page.
The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal questions can only be fully answered through consultation with an attorney to whom you give full and accurate details. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from an attorney by setting up a confidential meeting. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct.