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I recently broke my lease after 7.5 months. The landlord said it was not a problem bc he had other renters waiting. When i first signed the lease, I was given a one time $1200 credit off the first month. 4 months after i moved out, I find out the management company is keeping the $1200 credit. The $1200 credit was hand written into the lease. There is no small print stating the concession is based on me staying the full lease term. Do I have a case? I am thinking of suing in small claims court.
Appreciate the help.
you broke the lease. the credit was for the term of the lease. are you kidding?
your LL didn't charge you a month or 2 fee, just because they can. it seems that they returned your deposit as well, minus $1200. you really want to go to court over this? if anything, they will prorate the credit, so you're looking at $700 if 1 yr lease or $350 if 2 yr lease.
i guess you have nothing better to do.
They rejected my $750 pro rated resolution. No where in the lease does it mention the concession. Why should I just let them have it?
AB - I am not sure where you come from, but $750 - $1200 is worth a trip to small claims court.
If you can prove that the $1200 concession was in writing specifically for the first month of the lease (or any period that has already passed), you may have a case.
You could also argue that by the landlord accepting your first month check of rent-1200 that there was an understanding the first month rent is low and has been transacted.
by going to court, you can open an can of worms of counter suit. you moved out prior to lease end, you did not get your whole deposit kept for one thing or another. sometimes you have to understand that breaking a contract can and will have some consequences.
Well of course the concession is based on staying the full lease term. The lease is a single agreement between you and the landlord. It I'd not an amalgamation of a set of single agreements or of individual months. You have no case.
ab, if the landlord is not an individual, I don't believe the Small Claims Court would hear a counter claim. Check with your attorney or the Court Clerk.
The apartment was immediately rented, so they cannot counter sue for months lost. The landlord said "Give me a month or 2 notice, and it is not a problem at all". I will let you know the outcome.
The concession was for the term of the loan. Be happy the LL is letting you off your lease and not pursuing you for breaking your contract. If you had signed a 7-month lease, I doubt the LL would've given you a $1200 credit.
I have never seen a one month free credit ever existing in cases when you break the lease. My friend was living in Bayonne (I don't know what prompted him to exile himself) in a new building and decided how inconvenient living there was...but he couldnt break the lease otherwise he would have to pay the credit...
Well, once I left, the LL raised the rent about 8%, so they were happy for me to leave. 7 months prior, they raised me 17%. It does not state anywhere in the lease that the concession was based on the term of the lease.
Your landlord should have clarified that you would forfeit the credit upon breaking the lease. That said, regardless of whether he was able to easily re-rent, a broken contract is rarely without penalties.
The landlord was completely within his rights to hold you to your lease, in which case you would have had to pay the full term. If you go to court, he could counter-sue for the full 12 months of your lease. And win. Do you really want to risk that?
You'd also be on the bad-news list of tenants who've gone to court with landlords.
>>Well, once I left, the LL raised the rent about 8%, so they were happy for me to leave. 7 months prior, they raised me 17%.<<
>>It does not state anywhere in the lease that the concession was based on the term of the lease.<<
But I'll bet it states you are responsible for payment of the full contract term. If your landlord wants to play hardball he can invoke the lease, which you broke. Do you want to be held responsible for the remaining five months? Because that is likely what will happen if you open this particular can of worms.
You are wrong, the landlord has already mitigated his loss. Not sure why you are so anti, tenant even though the tenant had no case on the $1200.
If the landlord re-rented, it has no damages. What would a counterclaim be for? This is a free country -- tenants are not serfs bound to the land.
That's even leaving aside the problem that according to OP, s/he did not break the lease in any legal sense -- the landlord agreed to a change in the lease term.
As for the $1200, that depends on the agreement. OP says the written and oral agreement was half-off for the first month, and that the parties behaved according to that understanding. Just because other landlords and tenants sometimes agree to something else doesn't mean these ones did.
Without an explicit agreement that the first month discount was actually a contingent discount premised on tenant remaining for a full year, the landlord is simply stealing.
NWT's point, however, is not to be taken lightly.
What an idiotic point of view in your last paragraph. The discount was part of a 12 month contract. It is explicit.
Financeguy is correct. I can't be counter sued for the remaining months on my lease, bc the apt. was rented immediately.
As for the $1200, I initially asked for it be pro-rated across every month, but the landlord chose to take it off the initial month of the lease. He wrote on the front page "$1200 off first month", which he and I signed.
Again, there is NOTHING in the lease that mentions rental concessions. Obviously, if it did, I would not try to recoup my $1200.
In regard to the "bad" list, I have recently purchased, and do not plan to rent ever again.
If it isn't a rental concession, what would you call it?
>>Financeguy is correct. I can't be counter sued for the remaining months on my lease, bc the apt. was rented immediately.<<
That does not mean the landlord cannot counter-sue. There's no such thing as "can't" in the world of lawsuits. You broke a contract between yourself and the landlord. Any contract between the landlord and another, subsequent, tenant does not enter into the equation.
Of course, it might be a different story if you and the landlord had each signed a mutual agreement to terminate the lease, since you claim the landlord was agreeable to your early termination.
>You broke a contract between yourself and the landlord. Any contract between the landlord and another, subsequent, tenant does not enter into the equation.
And your iron clad statement is based on what? What education and direct knowledge do you have?
Leases I've seen spell out damages in the case of a default. The damages clause says typically says rent from new tenant (up to original rent?) would be used against damages (which includes remaining rent, legal fees, costs related to re-renting apt, etc.).
You have a marginal case here. However, you'd be an ass and an idiot to pursue it. The LL did something to help you out. At best, the fair thing would be for $750 to be kept. A very good case could be made for fair including $450 for their costs & troubles related to you breaking the lease. Maybe more.
What exactly are you going to tell the court? That you & LL verbally agreed to terminate the lease according to your terms? That obviously did not happen. No meeting of minds, so no verbal contract to terminate. Where does that leave you? In default.
Bramstar, your information is not correct. There have been arguments on this board as to whether a landlord has a duty to mitigate his damages, but once mitigated he can't sue for losses he no longer has.
"Financeguy is correct."
alright financeguy!! go you!