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I need to break my lease. Landlord isn't responding to potential new tenants. What are my options?

Newbury, MA |

I am moving for work and my commute will be about 90 minutes without traffic if I stay in current apartment. I gave my landlord a heads up to see what my options were. He said I would be responsible until he was able to secure a new tenant. When I told him it was official, he said that the timing was bad as he would be away until mid-October. He said that if I could find a new tenant, to send him their info and he would see about setting up a showing. I put an ad up on my own and showed the apartment. I asked the landlord for the next steps- he said to have them submit a form on his website. He has not responded to them or me about whether he has received it. What are my options if he continues not to respond? I just asked when they should expect to hear from him

Attorney Answers 2


If you break a lease, theoretically you are on the hook for the remainder of the rent due. However, a landlord has a duty to mitigate his losses, which in this case would be making a good faith effort to re-rent the apartment. If he doesn't, he would likely be limited in the amount of rent he could seek from you, if any. You should be careful to document all of your efforts to find a new renter and all of your communications with the landlord regarding the renters. If you have to leave, it is up to the landlord as to how he wants to proceed. He could sue you for all of the remaining rent or some portion. As I mentioned, he would likely run into trouble, however, if he hasn't even responded to your offers of assistance. But that wouldn't stop him from suing you, which could be expensive, time-consuming, and inconvenient, even if you ultimately win. Best to see if you can work out a deal with him, but if that's not possible, it sounds like you are doing the right things. You may want to consult with an attorney regarding the specifics of your situation to see what all of your options might be. Good luck!

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Thank you both, I've been careful and all correspondence has been done by email as opposed to phone.


My brother counsel's advice is right on. The landlord has a duty to mitigate his damages. The downside appears ti be in your having to defend against the landlord's claims for lost rent. I hope you've documented all communications in the event to are compelled to break the lease. Best of luck to you.

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