My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California.
We (my wife and I) looked at some Apartments for rent. We looked at several complexes, until we got to the last one. It was beautiful, and close to everything and very convenient to get to and from work. We signed the lease the same day, and in hindsight we probably should not have rushed into it. Okay, lesson learned. Now, We've also been looking for some businesses and an opportunity came up very next day after signing the lease. The location of this business is very far (~200miles), so we can't live here and work there. I called and left message with the Apartment mgmt asking saying I may need to terminate my lease, within 24hours. We put down $500 deposit at the time we signed the lease, so I figured, at worst, I will lose that Deposit. After leaving the message, I called again and this time someone picked up the phone. I explained my situation about cancelling the lease and I was told that their policy does not have a "grace" period, and if we cancel the lease, then we owe them an additional month of rent.
My question is, Can they do that? What would happen if I let them keep my deposit but not pay the additional month of rent, if we end up in court, how likely is it that I will be made to pay that amount. Now, keep in mind that this is a brand new Apartment complex, no one has lived in the unit that we were going to move into, and several others.
What is my best way to approach this? I will be delivering a written notice to terminate the lease today (2 days after signing the lease) to make this official. I am waiting for them to fax me the lease, (I didn't get a copy before I left, even though I had asked for one.)
Any information or direction would be appreciated.