What to do if I’ve been trying to break my lease because I relocated for a new job?

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What to do if I’ve been trying to break my lease because I relocated for a new job?

My landlord refuses to allow me to do so and is refusing to mitigate damages, nor will they not allow me to “buy out” the contract. Aren’t they required to at least try to rent the place out? What can I do?

Asked on November 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have no right to break your lease because it is no longer to your advantage, such as to relocate for a job; your landlord does not need to let you out of your lease.

The landlord does not need to try to re-let the premises before you break your lease; rather the landlord can rely on you honoring your contractual obligations. After you break the lease, the landlord should try to mitigate damages by re-renting, which can affect what the landlord could later look to recover from you (such as in a lawsuit) if it succeeds in re-renting.

The landlord also does not need to let you "buy out" the lease unless the lease itself specifically gives you that right.

You could try to sublet, assuming the lease does not bar subletting; or even assigning the lease (finding someone to take it over from you entirely), if that is not barred--but you need to do this; the landlord does not need to do it for you. If you can't sublet or assign, if you break the lease, you'll still have to pay the remaining rent, so you'll need to decide if the relocation is financially or otherwise worth it to you.


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