Canceling rental will cost landlord

Rent it Right

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Q: I'm in a bit of a bind. I own a unique, lovely duplex (we live upstairs) that I easily rented in our town of few rentals and high demand. I signed a one-year lease with the new tenants, then learned that my daughter and her husband lost their jobs and need to move. I want to offer them this unit rent-free, and I'm prepared to pay the new tenants what it takes to find another unit, and even any additional rent for a comparable place. But they insist that they have the right to move in, because "a lease is a lease." Can they force me to go through with the lease? --Arnold S. A: Your tenants' starting point is really, "a lease is a contract." You're announcing that you don't intend to honor the contract, and the legal question becomes, what is your tenants' remedy? Is it "damages" (money to compensate them for the consequences to them of your breach, such as application expenses, additional rent for a similar unit, and so on) or an order from...