Can I be charged 3 months rent if I have to break my year long lease?

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Can I be charged 3 months rent if I have to break my year long lease?

I know I could lose my security, but do I have to pay 3 months as well? I’m a good tenant. Have to sign new lease. Original lease (year ago) did not have this clause.

Asked on August 1, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Listen, a lease is a contract and the terms of the contract are negotiable between the parties.  True that he has a bit of the upper hand here but still, it seems that it is not the law and a term that is probably against public policy.  And do not be so sure that you can lose your security deposit. A security deposit is supposed to be for damages to the apartment that are above "normal wear and tear."   It is true that in some states it can be used for rent.  You can look it up on line and find out what can be withheld and what the law on notice really is.   Speak with your landlord.  Tell him that the clause makes you uncomfortable and that although you have every intention to stay the entire term you can not predict the future.  See what he says.  Good luck.     


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