If I can’t move-in on the date specified in my lease, can I sue?

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2011

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If I can’t move-in on the date specified in my lease, can I sue?

I signed a lease that states that our move-in date will be in 4 days. However, today the manager called and informed me that the old resident will not be moving out for another full month after that. Because he was willing to break the lease and then decided not to. And now I want to know if I can sue them?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease with you landlord to be, read it carefully in that its written terms control the obligations owed you and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. If your agreement with the landlord was for a stated move in date for a stated periord of time, and the landlord cannot provide you with occupancy as agreed to or within a reasonable period of time, then the landlord has materially breached the agreement with you.

Your options are as follows:

1. demand immediate occupancy of the leased unit assuming you want it;

2. sue for specific performance to obtain the unit to rent;

3. sue for damages if you end up renting a replacement unit. The damages would be the inceased monthly costs of the new unit versus your leased unit for the time of your lease.

Good luck.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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