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What are the potential legal consequences from breaking a lease agreement? Are any legal approaches to force a release?

Melbourne, FL |

A friend of mine wants to get out of a two year lease for rental property. He's a year into the lease and wants to know if there is a loop hole of legal way out of said lease.

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Attorney answers 3


He could be required to pay the remaining portion of the lease even if he isn't living there. Of course the landlord has a duty to mitigate and try to find a replacement tenant. But anything less than what the landlord would have made from the lease will be owed to the landlord by the tenant.

A loophole? Not so much. If your friend has someone who will take over the lease then that would work. If the landlord is in a material breach of the lease agreement then your friend would likely be freed from its obligations.

This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.

Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly


the landlord can choose among three options, according to Florida Statutes Chapter 83.595. (Of course, the fourth option may have been chosen by the landlord and tenant at the time of making the written contract, so that there is no duty to mitigate) Depending on whether or not the fourth option (liquidated damages / early termination) was chosen, the landlord can make the choice among the three other options and may or may not have a duty to mitigate.


Two year leases are Unenforceable under chapter 83 F.S. unless witnessed by the two parties. Need to see your lease. There may be a way but need to review the lease agreement. Feel free to call us as we do landlord tenant law with the Suncoast Apartment Association in your backyard. Hope this helps

DISCLAIMER: This answer is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between any user/reader and The Law Offices of Kassebaum, Robinson & Abelairas, P.A. We encourage and welcome you to contact us about your legal problems and visit our website at or email me at

Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly


Some judges don't allow the argument that two witnesses are required for a lease longer than one year, citing equity and looking to see if the parties relied on the agreement. If the tenant pays rent according to the contract and doesn't do anything in contradiction of it being a two-year term, then the tenant will be held to the two-year term in some jurisdictions.


Well if he has valid grounds under the contract there should not be any consequences
If he doesn't he can be sued for breach of
Contract for the amounts left to be paid under the contract and damages
Once he files suit and wins your friends wages/salary can be garnished, or a tax refund kept, or his bank accounts frozen, etc
That is why it is important to speak to a lawyer

If he gave his social the landlord can report it on his credit report as well
Have a lawyer review the contract to find any grounds to have him legally escape liability

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