What are a tenant’s rights if they break theirlease early?

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2011

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What are a tenant’s rights if they break theirlease early?

My tenant has exercised his option to his break lease. Under its terms, he forfeits the last months rent and security deposit. Now he informs me that, if I rent the condo in less than 2 months he is entitled to a percentage of his money returned (based on number of days, etc). State law says you can’t double rent. I feel that I am potentially being penalized for his decision. He broke the lease under agreed terms and that is it. Correct? An additional burden has been placed on me now due to changing plans, time to advertise, etc. I would think that since he broke the lease, the forfeiture clause is invoked and we are done.

Asked on December 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The best way to answer your question is to carefully read your written lease with your former tenant in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to him or her by you and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If there is a state law stating that you cannot double rent, then that law takes precedent over any additional rent that you may receive concerning the two month's forfeiture. You have an obligation to mitigate any damages and to rent out the unit. If you rent out the unit for more than what the former tenant was paying during the time period of the two months, he or she gets the full amount back for such period. If less, then the former tenant gets a reduced portion of the rent back. The result is that you have a new renter and have not lost any money in the transaction.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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