Hayward, CA asked in Real Estate Law for California

Q: Negotiated with landlord to break lease due to all classes are remote, no longer need the apartment.

“We do not have a lease break option. If you choose to not move into the apartment, that is certainly your choice to do so. The process we will follow is to wait for two days or until we receive an email confirmation from you and all your roommates releasing the apartment. Once that happens we will process the paperwork regarding your lease agreement which will generate a bill for the entire 12 month lease which you will receive via mail to your present address on your application. As long as you make arrangements to make payments (even small payments) we will be able to work with your balance until we find someone to move into the apartment and relieve you of your financial obligation. If payments are not made and the balance remains, it will be reported to the credit reporting agencies and show as a landlord debt. This shows on your credit report until paid.“ Is that LEGAL for landlord to do so? I have negotiate with “frustration of purpose” & willing to pay 2 mon rent to break lease

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2 Lawyer Answers
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Manuel Alzamora Juarez
Answered
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you are willing to pay three months maybe, LL would be more amenable. Best of luck.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Haven't you posted on this one before? Seems way too familiar. The answers you get don't change just because you post over and over. You referred to "Frustration of purpose" before. So here is the answer again: 1. There are local ordinances that provide relief to tenants due to Covid 19- you need to research the ones in the area of the apartment you and your roommates leased; 2. You may have a defense due to Frustration of Purpose or Impossibility of Performance, but this occurs when you are defending the Unlawful Detainer or Breach of Contract lawsuit- NO ONE CAN GIVE YOU AN ANSWER about how that will turn out, on this forum- it is up to the Court; 3. In a lawsuit, the LL has the burden to prove that he mitigated (minimized) his damages- I am reading what he wrote above about how he would not look for a new tenant until you started making payments, this is not mitigation- just because he has this policy does not mean the law recognizes is as reasonable- point is the LL may have a hard time showing that you owe 12 months. If he posts that you owe 12 months rent, at the beginning of the term, unless the lease accelerates the lease payments (unlikely) the LL could be liable for a slander of credit which is a claim that each of the roommates could bring against him in small claims to a maximum of $10,000.00. Now, this is as complete an answer as you are going to receive. You are going to Berkeley, that is supposed to mean that you have at least average intelligence, read this as though it were for a class that you have to pass, that will pay you 12 months of rent if you read it and understand it. Research the law for the buzz words that are used above. Contact a Berkeley law student about this. Realize that NO ONE except an attorney you hire to write this LL, can make him stop doing what he is doing, until you go to court and win the case against him. Use those brains that got you into Berkeley.

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