This it not worth litigating You have breached a written contract and the L has the legal right to claim the entire year's rent from you as long as he or she makes a good faith effort to rent to another. (The new rent lessens his claim on you; it does not eliminate it). You are lucky to get back what is being offered.
• You might find my legal guide on selecting and hiring a lawyer helpful.
You might find my legal guide on Is it Legal? Is it Illegal? helpful.
You might find my legal guide on the understanding the different court systems helpful.
You might find my legal guide on legal terms used in litigation helpful.
(Even if you are not filing a lawsuit this information can be useful).
My legal guides on New York business law and real estate matters
• Landlord Tenant Rules and Requirements in General and in New Jersey,
• Landlord Tenant Litigation: Eviction, Other Lawsuits in General and in New Jersey
• An Introduction to Division of Housing and Community Renewal in New York City (DHCR)
• Alphabet Soup: Part One: A Guide to New York City Agencies Used By Real Estate Professionals
• Alphabet Soup: Part Two: A Guide to New York City Agencies Used By Real Estate Professionals
Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about this issue.