If I never occupiedthe rentalcan the landlord sue me for rent?

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If I never occupiedthe rentalcan the landlord sue me for rent?

I tried to back out of a rental property through a real estate broker but was lied to by the broker and told I had to wait until my application was processed through their HOA. I wanted to back out because my dog exceeded their maximum weight limit and was told by their HOA property manager that I would have been required to leave the premises if I was knowingly violating their HOA rules and regulations. I was told I would have a chance to address my concerns with the HOA prior to the approval, but was never given the opportunity. Now I am being sued by the owner for rent and other fees.

Asked on January 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you signed a written lease for a rental for a specific term or even on a month-to-month basis but never occupied the rental nor paid any part of the rent, you have a written contract that under the law ou are required to honor with the landlord. If you fail to make payments on the lease as agreed to, the landlord can sue you for past due rent even though you never occupied the rental.

As a possible defense to entry into the contract you can assert misprepresentations by the broker who seemingly was the agent for the landlord.

The landlord is under an obligation to try and rent out the premises if you are not going to occupy them. Likewise, you might want to look to sub-lease the unit to a thrid person to mitigate any possible damages that you might be responsible for as to unpaid rent.


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