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Old manager said we could transfer lease but new manager says we can't Breaking a Lease

Discussion in 'Rental Agreements & Subleases' started by BrianG, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. BrianG

    BrianG Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi all,

    In January I was apartment hunting in Texas. The manager at the property I now live in told us that it would be possible to transfer our lease to another person (if we found one, and they ran their usual background and income check). Since I moved in, he has left the company. The new manager has told me that this is not possible, and that the best they can do is add new people to the lease. We would still be liable.

    I recently spoke to one of the leasing agents to see if they could get a hold of the previous manager. He did, and the manager recalls having that conversation with a few people. But he also says he recalls telling people that it could change at any time if management changes. I am confident that he did not tell us that, because the ability to transfer the lease was very important to us.

    Is this simply a "he said she said" case, where since he recalls telling us it could change, we're simply out of luck? Or can we hold them to it?

    If we're out of luck, are there other ways to mitigate liability if we add new people to the lease? I imagine we could ask them to take over all liability, but then it seems like our only recourse would be small claims court, which is a major PITA.

    Thanks!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can BUY yourself out of most leases.

    What you were told by the FORMER manager has no legal weight as he/she no longer speaks for the landlord or company.

    You can allow time to pass and the lease will end, eliminating all liability.

    There is no way most landlords would let you off the hook if you were allowed to get someone to assume your lease.

    Two fish on the hook offers the landlord more protection, not less.
     
  3. BrianG

    BrianG Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, army judge. As a legal novice, that's terribly surprising to me! I would think that a verbal contract made by the manager would hold weight even if he left. That's not true in general?

    I know I can just finish out the lease, of course, but that's not what I'm hoping to do.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You and he/she never had an oral contract.

    English common law and the statue of frauds has evolved in our country to require ALL matters involving real estate (including leases) to be in writing.

    However, just because a promise or an agreement are put to paper, all such scribbling does not a contract make.

    I won't bore you and me by describing what constitutes a contract, but as you describe events there was never a contract.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    What carries more weight is the written contract you actually signed. What does it say about early termination of the lease?
     
  6. BrianG

    BrianG Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It has no stipulation for anything other than finishing the whole lease :(. I had stupidly assumed that the manager's word would hold water.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You discus what it would take (in the form of cash) to get the management to allow you to break the lease early.


    That wasn't a stupid assumption, IF the manager had remained employed by the complex.
     
  8. BrianG

    BrianG Law Topic Starter New Member

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    They're also okay with me adding more people to the lease and working something out with them. It sounds like I'm inviting a big headache if I do that, since the other party can just walk, right? Is there a legal document I can prepare and have them (a new tenant) sign that helps mitigate this?

    I'm genuinely surprised that his current employment matters. I would have thought that since he made the promise while there (and a court can easily get ahold of him), it would stand.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. BrianG

    BrianG Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Good news: new manager says that although she cannot put the agreement into writing, she will honor it for me.
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Faith can achieve the impossible, and usually does far more than anger and threats.

    Bully for you, mate.
     
    BrianG likes this.

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