Provo, UT asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Utah

Q: We are trying to end our lease a couple weeks early.

We provided written request to end the lease early and it was approved. We received a confirmation text from the property management company of new end date and a move out email with the new date.

One week following the confirmation from the PM co., we received an email from the landlord (not the property management company) that he changed his mind and now we have to stay (and pay) thru the end of the lease. The property management company said they’re “voiding” the new agreement because they just “follow through with the landlords instructions.”

Could we push back on the property management company since we have it confirmed twice from the property management company, his agent, acting on his behalf?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
  • Spanish Fork, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: As I have not reviewed your lease or the text and email from the landlord's management company, I can't tell you how likely you are to win if you were to fight this out in court. The theory you suggest is valid and may be true. Your relationship with the landlord is based on your lease and on the interactions the Landlord allows on their behalf. One question will be whether the landlord originally approved the early termination, or if the management company is trying to cover their error by saying the landlord changed his mind. Even if that were true, there remains a possibility that the Landlord will be held to the management company's actions solely due to the choice to use them.

Just as important as the process described above is whether the Landlord will want to sue you for two weeks rent. If you leave early, pursuing you for the last two weeks could be far more expensive than letting it go. Especially where you have documentation of an approval to leave. Keep in mind though, if you have already paid for those last two weeks, you will be the one paying the court fees first to sue them for the difference. Small claims court will cost you less than $200 if you are representing yourself. Good luck!

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