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My rights as a tenant to break lease 2 months early?

Discussion in 'Rental Agreements & Subleases' started by De Sy, Sep 4, 2019.

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  1. De Sy

    De Sy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    My GF and I have been renting for almost 2years and have never missed a rent payment. We have bought a house and will be moving mid september. I notified the property management company in writing and asked for a subleaser for our oct and nov months. I made a post on FB and collected the names and contact information of over 20 people who were interested. The property manager setup an open house and only 1person showed up. I contacted the people on FB again and the majority said they had never been contacted about the open house. According to CA law it states that the management company has to do its due diligence to find a new tenant. It seems to me they are sitting on their ass and not actively trying to find a new tenant. What are my recourses?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Until you leave and they can evaluate and repair the property, etc., they can't commit to lease it to anyone.
     
  3. De Sy

    De Sy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Then why would he schedule an open house but not tell anyone? The property is in excellent condition and wont need anything more than a few patches from wall mounted TVs which I am going to do myself when we move
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Frankly, you're going to lose a minimum of a month. You're arguing about (maybe) one month's worth of rent.
     
  5. De Sy

    De Sy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Of which i cant pay, i cant pay both a rent and a mortgage. Ive given plenty of notice and california law states they cant force me to stay and they have to do their due dilligence to find a replacement.
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You have lived there 2 years... Are you certain you are not a month to month tenant at this point? Did you ever sign a new lease when the original expired?
     
  7. De Sy

    De Sy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes they make you sign a new lease every year, they dont do month to month
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Hopefully you gave the landlord a minimum of 30 days notice in writing.
    The best you can do is to ask nicely to be let off the hook due to having purchased a home. It certainly is difficult to coordinate the time of the purchase with the end of a lease.
    If the place is in good condition and they can rent it easily they might be cooperative... Just don't be demanding about it.
    You are right, if you leave early they do have a responsibility to attempt to rent the property and minimize their loss. You are not automatically on the hook for two months rent. It depends how things play out.
    Make sure the apartment is spotless and have them walk through with you prior to turning in your keys so you have the best chance of getting a cleaning deposit returned.
    If you are lucky and they sticky get a tenant by Oct. 1 then you should be in the clear.
    If they are jerks about it then you can expect hassles over the deposits.
    Even though you move out early you do not have to pay a penny for those last two months until a judge orders you to do so. They may not bother with that hassle, especially if they rent again promptly.
     
  9. De Sy

    De Sy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Ive given them over 30 days. Im not worried about them suing for 2months of rent but of them dinging my credit for not paying
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Once you allow others to control your destiny, the outcome is out of your control.
     
  11. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    What exactly does this mean? Did you ask your landlord to find a subtenant? Or did you ask the landlord for permission to sublease the premises for two months (which I assume are the last two months of the lease term)? What does the lease say about subleases?

    The landlord's obligation to mitigate damages doesn't arise until you vacate the premises, and it doesn't sound like you've done that. Until that time, the onus of finding a subtenant is entirely on you.

    That's not a relevant question, but it's obviously a question that only the person you're talking about can answer intelligently.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    100% spot on...
     
  13. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You should read the statute before you rely on it:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&sectionNum=1951.4.

    The LL does not have to mitigate as long as you remain in residence and continue to pay rent. Nor does he have any obligation to find a new tenant to replace you as long as you still live there.

    Even if you abandon the premises and surrender the keys he still does not have to find a new tenant as long as your lease allows you to sublet the dwelling. In other words, you get to hold open houses, you get to advertise for new tenants, you get to be the landlord of any new tenant to whom you sublease the dwelling, you get to collect the rent and then pay that rent to the LL.
     

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