AgentRentals

Putting a price on lease break

Tenant's employer offers landlord compensation, but concerns remain

Q: I have a tenant who signed a two-year lease and now needs to move as part of a job relocation. He has 14 months left on his lease. The tenant's employer contacted me and is offering to pay a "reasonable" amount if I let the tenant break the lease. Can a landlord legally accept any amount a tenant offers to break an apartment lease? If we reach an agreement, let's say three months' rent, can I rent it out sooner? A: You could agree to unilaterally release your tenant from any further obligation under the lease for nothing, or you could insist on the remaining balance of all the lease payments to the end of the lease. Of course, no one would pay up front the amount owed each month for the next 14 months, as a tenant would simply leave the unit vacant and send in the rent each month. A lease-breaking tenant would also expect the landlord to mitigate or minimize his damages by making a diligent effort to re-rent the unit. So the reality is that you and your tena...