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Do you have to pay a lease agreement if you never move into the property?

Ocala, FL |

My son signed a lease with University Heights in Tallahassee. He anticipated getting a job but can only find part time work. He also did not anticipate that he would have trouble getting into classes. To top things off his car broke down and the expense is a major hardship for him. He has decided to move back home and try again later. The apartment management will not release him from the contract for any reason or circumstance.

Attorney Answers 2


A lease is a binding contract. You should call an attorney to discuss how to get the landlord to 'mitigate damages'. The general idea is that if the landlord can lease to another person, then you only have to cover the difference between what the new person paid and what your son promised to pay.

My answers are general in nature based upon very short, and often incomplete questions. Please do not rely upon my answers. If you need a legal opinion, you need to hire a lawyer who will take the time to fully understand your problem and then take the time to research the issues.

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I agree with my colleague that lease agreements are binding contracts. I add that you should review your lease agreement to see if your son signed an early termination clause in the lease. If so, the landlord can only recover up to two months rent. If not, I recommend you try to negotiate some amount for early termination of the lease. The landlord has several options under Florida law, one of which is to do nothing and hold the tenant liable for each month's rent as it becomes due. Most landlord opt to mitigate their damages and try to re-lease the property holding the tenant liable for the difference in what rent they have lost, plus costs.

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