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Breaking a lease in Virginia. No early termination clause. Abandonment Clause exists.

Alexandria, VA |

Clause: If the Tenant shall abandon or be removed for cuase from teh leased premises, or quit or vacate the same, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, the premises may be relet by Landlord... In the event of such reletting, Tenant shall remain liable for any rent deficiency, reletting expenses, damages, and all costs for redecorating the premises, including 7% interest on the total sum, and reasonable attorney's fees. It is mutually agreed that Tenant's absence from leased premises after rent has become due and remains unapid for a period of 7 consecutive days, or Tenant's removal of substantially all of Tenant's possessions, creates a conclusive presumption of abandonment by Tenant.
Question - does moving out after providing a 60-day notice invoke the Abandonment clause?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

An attorney would need to review the entire lease agreement to tell you exactly how this is going to play out, as there is generally a separate "Default" clause which covers a breach such as this. That said, even if the lease is silent, the VA Code provides rules that define what happens in the event of a breach, and they are not significantly different from these abandonment provisions. The abandonment provisions are basically in place so the landlord can enter the premises if they're not entirely certain whether you've left town, gone or vacation, or perhaps died. Since you provided 60 days notice, my take on this would be that the breach or default provisions in the lease would apply, and not the abandonment clause, though there may be little material difference between the two. Either way, you likely will get sued, so I would strongly advise you to obtain competent real estate counsel before vacating the premises.

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DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS NOT INTENDED, NOR SHOULD IT BE CONSTRUED, AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS POSTING DOES NOT CREATE ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US. FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION, CONSULT A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY.

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