Is it legal to ask a tenant to sign a confession of judgement for the amount of what is left in the lease because they want to break it early?

UPDATED: Mar 22, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Mar 22, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal to ask a tenant to sign a confession of judgement for the amount of what is left in the lease because they want to break it early?

I work for a property owner who has 100 rentals. Our leases are a year. Originally I was hired to perform showing/leasing activities. Increasingly I am being required to perform many legal duties and honestly I have limited knowledge of the law and owner has limited regard for it really.

Asked on March 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Iowa


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The confession of judgment that you are writing about and that you have been asked to perform for your employer is not illegal per se to create. What could be improper is what may be stated in the document since you have not written what you have placed in the ones you have created.

In essence the confession of judgment is a document that a tenant who wishes to break his or her lease early agrees that so much is owed to the landlord under the written lease. However, the landlord is still under an obligation to rent out the unit being vacated early to another tenant and if another tenant comes in during the balance of the lease of the prior tenant, the damages owed by the prior tenant would be reduced by what the new tenant is paying for the same unit. I suggest that you consult further with a landlord tenant attorney concerning what is placed in the confession of judgment by you to make sure it is allowed.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption