Terminating a one year lease by tenant.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Terminating a one year lease by tenant.

My Arizona tenant has a 1 year lease but would like to move out asap. The lease calls for no earl termination. What is the law?

Asked on October 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If there is no early termination clause, the tenant is obligated for the rent for the earlier of 1) the remaining time on the lease, or 2) until you re-rent the premises, assuming you make reasonable (normal for a landlord trying to rerent) efforts to do so--and not that under the law, you MUST attempt to "mitigate" your "damages" by making such reasonable efforts.
So say there are 8 months left on the lease when the tenant moves out. If you find a new tenant, using reasonable efforts, and they start paying rent in one month, the old tenant owes you that extra month of rent; if it takes three months, they'd owe you three months of rent; if it take eight or more months, they'd owe for the remaining eight months under the lease. You could apply their security deposit to the unpaid rent and/or sue them for the money.

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