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My son signed a 1 yr lease in an apt complex in Cleveland and then got a job in
Columbus and moved. When reviewing the contract there was no out clause for this
contract is this acceptable? He asked what if anything he could do to get out and
they advised him that ‘he could find a replacement renter and that they would
look as well’. In the meantime ‘you are responsible for this rent’. He is a
college student in the Columbus area and he doesn’t have the income to pay this
rent for a full year, He has been paying the rent every month for the last 4
months but he is struggling. and honestly I can’t imagine they the apt complex
are spending time looking for a renter. Is there any recourse we can take?
Asked on January 8, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
It is 100% acceptable to not have an early termination or "out" clause--in fact, it's pretty much standard. You sign a lease, you are obligated for rent for the entire term or duration of the lease. Getting a job in another city is NOT a valid reason to get out of a lease: a party to a lease (the tenant) cannot use a change in his own life or circumstances as grounds to escape his obligations to the other party (the landlord). You can only escape a lease if:
1) The landlord violated some material term or provision of the lease;
2) The apartment is not inhabitable; or
3) You can prove that the landlord lied to you about something important to get you to sign the lease (committed fraud).
Otherwise you are obligated. Finding someone to take over the lease or sublet from your son is likely is only recourse.