Can I break my lease due to a job transfer?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

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Can I break my lease due to a job transfer?

I was notified today that the company I work for is transferring out of state. I want to breech my lease without being responsible for the remainder of my term or until they find new renters. Is this legally possible?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all have you read your lease? Possibly their is language relating to this. If not, unfortunately this situation does not entitle you to terminate your lease early.  You are still liable for the remaining rent until the end of the lease term.  That having been said, your landlord is under a duty to "mitigate damages" once you move out. This means that they must use reasonable efforts to find a new tenant.  If and when this happens, you will then be relieved of any further rental obligation.

In order to expedite things perhaps you know of someone who would like take over your space. Also, ask if you can sublet your unit; in a sublet you in effect become the "landlord".  You could charge the sub-tenant less than what you are paying but at least it would give you some monetary relief (you would need your landlord's permission to do so). You should be aware however, that with a sublease, you will still remain liable for the rent if your subtenant fails to pay it. 

Note: Possibly your employer can help offset some of your rental expenses via a relocation allowance, Check with your HR department.

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 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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