If my girlfriend and I recently leased an apartment and put some money down on it but have changed our minds, what can we do?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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If my girlfriend and I recently leased an apartment and put some money down on it but have changed our minds, what can we do?

After talking about it for a while, we decided the apartment was too small and was in a bad location for school/work. We haven’t even moved in yet but the landlord said we can’t break the lease and I’m afraid of what the legal ramifications could be in place if we did break the lease.

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New York


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

First of all, read your lease? Possibly there is language relating to this. If not, then legally a tenant is still liable for the remaining rent until the end of the lease term That having been said, a landlord is under a duty to "mitigate damages". This means that they must use reasonable efforts to find a replacement tenant. If and when this happens, the original tenant is relieved of any further rental obligation.


At this point, you can to consult directly with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. After hearing all of the facts of your situation, they can best advise you further. You can also check to see if there is a tenants' right organization in your area for help.

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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