Saint George, UT asked in Small Claims, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Utah

Q: I signed a contact for 12 months that states it auto renews after the 12 months unless they receive 30 days notice.

I am now trying to buy a house but they say I'm in a contact for 8 more months. I've lived here 1.5 years after the initial contact was complete. Is this legal? Is this something I can fight in court or is it something I more than likely will lose. They want 3 months rent for fees.

1 Lawyer Answer

Wesley Winsor

Answered
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Contracts with auto-renewals are valid. It cuts both ways, if you didn't want to move they couldn't terminate the contract for another year.

More common than the auto renewal contract is the one that goes a month to month after the expiration of the initial term.

I am not sure I would fight it, but you could help them find a new tenant, and at that point they could not justify charging you for the additional 3 months. They have a duty to cover and mitigate damages so if they find a new tenant, then their damages would only be the expenses of transitioning the new tenant in. Cleaning, background/credit checks, marketing, time and effort expended on their part to get the new tenant.

So if you did all that work for them, there shouldn't be much of an expense.

I hope that helps.

Wes

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