Q: Can my landlord keep my security deposit and 2 months rent even though someone took over my lease and is also paying
I had a 3 year lease, I wanted to get out of my lease after two years and asked my landlord if I could terminate the lease and if he could find someone to take it over. He found someone to take it over the next week, but he said he should be able to keep my $3000 security deposit and that I also should pay $3190 November and $3190 December, as a incentive for the new tenant to sign. I also found out yesterday that the new tenant is also paying for rent November and December. Can he legally do this? Collect rent from both? And keep my security deposit even though we ended the contract on good terms, never late on rent, nothing was damaged?
A: Generally a landlord is not able to collect from the old and new tenant. A lease agreement may attempt to provide the penalty for breaching the contract, which could be challenged in court as unreasonable. Landlords generally have a duty to mitigate by finding new tenants. The idea is finding a new tenant will "mitigate" or "minimize" the damages owed by the original tenant to the landlord after breaching the lease agreement. Know this is general legal information and should not be relied upon in your specific matter. An attorney needs to first meet with a potential client to determine all facts relevant to the matter. Good luck!
A: I deal with issues like this on a more regular basis than I would like to admit (it is appalling how many landlords attempt to do this). No, the landlord cannot charge a tenant under a terminated lease. Your best chance of getting your security deposit back is to retain an attorney. If I am being frank, cases like this usually do not take long to handle.
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