Q: Which is more binding- a rental lease, or Indiana law?
Our lease states that if a tenant vacates the premises before the lease is up, the Lessor can relet the apartment to a new tenant, but the original tenant is still obligated to pay the remainder of their lease term as well. Doesn't Indiana law say otherwise?
A: Indiana law will always trump conflicting terms in a rental agreement. However, certain requirements dictated by Indiana law are able to be waived assuming both parties agree. Others are not.
If a tenant vacates the premises prematurely and the lessor signs the apartment to a new tenant, the original tenant is not still obligated to pay the remainder of their lease term. This is double dipping by the landlord. Indiana law assumes that the tenant that vacated is still obligated to pay the rent until the lessor can find a new lessee. The lessor is always obligated to mitigate their damages by finding a new lessee.
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