Des Plaines, IL asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin

Q: I signed an apartment lease in WI, 4 days later I called the leasing office to cancel it. Do I have to pay the rent?

I never moved in, I called to cancel it before my moving date. But they said I'm liable to pay the rent until someone re-rents. But they rented two same units, same price, and same style, not mine. What happens if I stop making payments?

Thanks in advance

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller
  • Madison, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: Assuming that the lease is enforceable, which may only be determined after review by a qualified attorney, you may be liable for the full contract amount. The landlord is under a duty to mitigate damages and to work to re-rent the unit. That duty does not necessarily mean that the landlord has to prioritize your unit over other currently vacant units the landlord seeks to lease.

If you stop making payments you may be responsible for rent for the time the apartment is vacant, reduced rent from the new tenant and possibly marketing fees if included in your lease.

Best to work closely with the landlord to try to get this unit re-rented as soon as possible. You should also have the lease reviewed to determine enforceability and to quantify your potential damages in the event you default.

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