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Reasonable Avoidance of Damages Inquiry Breaking a Lease

Discussion in 'Rental Agreements & Subleases' started by gabrielleimdeutsch, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. gabrielleimdeutsch

    gabrielleimdeutsch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am writing in regard to a rental dispute with my former property management. A short summary:

    I accepted a job offer in Germany in January of this year, and was told I could break my lease (which would have terminated in May 2016) without penalty if I found a replacement tenant.

    I found a tenant whose application was approved—however, the property manager delayed having him sign the lease and he signed a lease different apartment. I continued to source new applicants (including two who also applied and were approved) and advertise the unit until my departure from the country in early March, after which time the property manager took over advertising and showing the unit. The landlord refused to consider anyone looking for a lease term shorter than 12 months.

    Earlier this week, I was sent an email which detailed that the apartment had not been rented and I now owe $6468.50 (minus the security deposit $2150 they have on hand, for a total of $4314).

    However, it is my understanding that under Civil Code 1951.2, if I leave before the terms of my lease expire, I owe the rent for the rest of the lease term minus what I can prove the landlord could have reasonably avoided losing. In the attached documents, I have outlined my argument in detail and with supporting documentation , and was wondering if you could help assess if this is a strong enough claim to argue that I am exempt from the remainder of the payout. (I'm assuming the security deposit is already lost)

    Thanks in advance for your counsel.

    Attached Files:

  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I didn't read the entire thing but you seem to be on the right track. You're probably best off citing your lease if there is a provision for sublet (that it won't be unreasonably withheld.) Otherwise you're probably best off citing the law early on, right after the discussion with the landlord about a reasonable replacement. You should then state quickly the point - that you found suitable replacements that were either (a) unable to sign a lease due to the negligence of the landlord; and (b) the landlord refused 2 other reasonable substitutes (and you can explain why later.) This way whomever is reading it gets the point of where you're going quickly and can understand the details and match them up later.

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