Q: I need to break the house lease but I have a friend who can move in instead of me, will I be fined by landlord? CA
My lease will expire on June 30th, 2019. I have a great deal, renting the house. This is my sixth year living here. I am in escrow to buy my own house and need to break the lease. My very good friend wants to take over my current lease and even sign new year lease contract if necessary but I am not sure if it matters since I am the one who wants to break the lease. (my contract specifically says "if tenant vacates before the term ends, tenant will be liable for the balance of the rent for the remainder o the term)
A: The first thing to do is read your lease carefully. What does it say about subleasing? If it doeesn't say anything, you can sublease to your friend. If it says landlord permission is required, then see if your friend meets reasonable requirements as far as credit, income, etc. Even if subleasing is prohibited, and you are forced to break your lease, the landlord is required to mitigate their damages, meaning they must try to rent the place, and not just let it stay vacant, while charging you rent. You can always try to negotiate a solution with your landlord. A lease review and consultation with an attorney may help provide an efficient solution.
First point: When you have a problem involving your lease, always talk to your landlord first. He wants a tenant occupying the premises. The logical solution is to get a new tenant to take over. You thought of that - why not tell the landlord? I am sure he would be relieved to know he does not have to chase you for unpaid rent.
He might suggest a sublease, in which case you remain a guarantor of the new tenant's performance. Better of course, is to have the new tenant sign a new lease, ending your liability, and that is what usually happens.
He is required to be reasonable in his demands on the replacement tenant. For example, he cannot require a credit score of 800 or better if you do not have a similar score. If you had not found a replacement, he would have been required to use his best efforts to obtain a new tenant. Any rent replacing what you would owe would be deducted from what you owe.
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