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  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Breaking a Lease With Six Months Left

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California.

    I have to break my lease and there is still 6 month left. My rent is 2000 per month and I got the bill from my landlord for May and they are going to continue send me bill monthly until they find someone move into my unit.

    But they are listing the unit for 2150 right now. Since they increase the rent and make the unit harder to rent out. Shall I still be responsbile for all the rent during vancancy?

    Besides, the landloard did not do the final work though with us and charge us $236 dollars for painting. We moved out and the unit is very clean and I don't see any need for re-painting the unit.
    Shall I ask for the receipt?

    thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Breaking a Lease With Six Months Left

    You are responsible for the 6 months of rent at the leased rental rate; your landlord can ask for whatever rental rate he wants when looking for a new tenant. Did you repaint the apartment? Was their a repainting clause in your lease?

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Breaking a Lease With Six Months Left

    Your landlord has to make a reasonable effort to find a replacement tenant. If you can make the case that the proposed rent is interfering with the rental of the premises, you can argue that in court in the event that you're sued over unpaid rent.

    Your landlord should document to you the cost of painting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: Breaking a Lease With Six Months Left

    Hello, thanks for your response. But the problem is the landlord increase the rent for $50 dollars. ( they relist the apartment for $2050 now, the listed it at $2150 at first). But even we can get the difference of $50 , that is only $300 dollars for sixe month. But if the apartment is vacant for one month we need to pay $2000.
    But can we just use this as an excuse to get terminate the lease and stop paying the rent?

    Besides, The leasing refuse to give the keys back to us ( we return the key on April 14th) or let us rent the apartment to one of our friend who is interested in pay $1000 for 1b1b even we agree to pay the other half of the rent and let the other 1b1b vacant until we find another person who are willing to share the 2b2b with our friend. Do we have to pay the rent even we don't have the keys any more ?The landlord claim that we give him the right to find new tenant becasue we sign the 30 days notice and return the key?

    But it's much harder to find someone to take the entire $2000($2050 now) 2b2b for one year than find two persons who are willing to share the 2b2b one by one.

    So right now we don't have the keys and only the leasing office have the right to choose a new tenant who are willing to sign one year lease for the entire 2b2b at $2050.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breaking a Lease With Six Months Left

    If you can prove to the court's satisfaction that the landlord is not making a reasonable effort to find a new tenant, that's a defense to the entire ongoing rent obligation, not just the increase.

    I can't see your lease from here so I cannot comment on what it says about subletting. But if you have already broken your lease and surrendered possession, your landlord doesn't have to give you a do-over.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: Breaking a Lease With Six Months Left

    Hello, Knowitall. Thank you very much for your advice. We are foreigners and we have no idea that return the key= lost chance to sublease by ourselves. I recently find someone who are willing to rent the 2b2b by offer this person $1500 dollars after he sign the new lease with the leasing company. My question is if this person break his lease with in 6 month( before Oct, the end of our original lease). Do we still have some responsibility or this person is responsible for the new lease? We just want to get out of this hard situation as soon as possible since my baby is due soon we really don't have too much time to handle the trouble. thanks again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    5

    Default Re: Breaking a Lease With Six Months Left

    Hello, Knowitall. I check some law webpage yesterday and find something called surrender by operation of law. I don't know if I can argue that my landlord's action result surrender by operation of law so we no longer have the obligation of the remaining rent.
    1) the landlord is listing the apartment at a higher price
    2) the landlord require the new tenant to sign a one year lease ( which is longer than the unexpired term remaining under the vacating tenantís lease)
    3) the landlord refuse to return a set of key to us, so we totally lost the control and right of possession of the apartment.

    Based on the 3 points above, can I say that
    the landlord relets the premises as the tenantís agent for a longer term than the unexpired term remaining under the vacating tenantís lease:
    is not renting the premises on behalf of the tenant; and
    * has worked a surrender Ė cancellation of the lease agreement Ė since his conduct is inconsistent with the vacating tenantís unexpired lease and unforfeited leasehold.


    I found the information on this webpage: http://firsttuesdayjournal.com/surre...els-the-lease/ I don't know if this law applies to California or not.

    You mentioned I broken my lease and surrendered possession. When does broken lease and surrendered possession consider as happened in my case?
    Yes, we gave the leaving notice and return the key but we are still paying the rent , does that mean we are still on the lease? then do we still have the right to have the possession of the apartment? thanks a lot for your help, I am looking forward to your advice.

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