Q: Can I successfully sue for the August rent I paid and my security deposit in small claims court?
I had to end my 1 year lease (April 1 - March 31) early. I gave notice to my landlord on June 30 that my last day would be July 31. He informed me that it was my responsibility to find a tenant or I would have to pay $250 for his company to find a tenant for me and until a tenant was found, I had to keep paying rent. I did not want to pay, so I put the apartment online on multiple sites, put up a sign, and showed the unit to many people, but to no avail (partly because of the condition of the outside of the complex). August 1, after I moved out and had done a walk through with the landlord, I paid August rent since there was no tenant. Then, I read online that it is the landlord's responsibility to find a tenant. Given that I gave him a month's notice and he has made absolutely no effort to find a tenant for the property, can I successfully sue for the August rent I paid and my security deposit in small claims court?
A: There may be more facts here but based on what is presented I would say no. This is due to the fact that your lease was for one year and you had agreed to that. Unless there was some different clause in your agreement regarding early termination, a landlord is not responsible to make reparation for your breaking the lease. The security deposit needs to be addressed separately. Typically in leases agreements, the security deposit has a clause that will cover any damage or necessary cleaning to be done and that can eat up your security deposit. The landlord would be required to provide you a breakdown of costs on that. However, if there was no damage and no repairs necessary then you should be able to get your deposit back. The landlord typically has 30 days to provide that to you or they need to return it to you.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.