I recently sub-leased my apartment. All the paper work was filled out and turned into the office saying that the new Tennant would pay the final 8 months of rent on the 12 month lease. The paper work was more so just a record for the management to know who is now living in their unit. I also have emails clearly stating the price of rent to be paid each month and for the exact days they will pay rent. After living there for almost a month, he has now contacted me saying that he will not be paying rent and has found a new place to live. His reasoning is that the apartment is "unsafe" mainly due to a gas odor in the apartment. The stove is very old and has a main pilot light causing the gas odor, but I have been assured by management that this is not a safety hazard. I believe the subleaser is fabricating these claims simply because he found another place that is nicer and now wants out to move there. The total amount of rent money left is just shy of $4,000. Is it worth taking to small claims Court?
It is most likely not worth your time and expense to pursue him on this matter. Most states hold that the tenant is liable for rent until you find a replacement...but you have to actively look. You cant just sit back and pretend to look and expect the tenant to pick up the tab. If he is moving out after only a short time, there should be no damage to the property and you should have no trouble re-renting it.
You cannot sue for the entire amount left o the lease. You have a duty to mitigate your damages by using reasonable efforts to find a new tenant. If you are unable to find a new tenant for 8 months, you can THEN sue for the full $4,000 that is owed. Whether it is worth going to court depends on how much of the $4,000 actually ends up being owed.
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