My tenant broke his lease. In order to fill my apartment, I had to lower the rent. (Rents have dropped 20% in the SF Bay area.) The replacement tenant signed a lease directly with me, not a sublet lease with the tenant who left. Question: Can I charge the original tenant the difference in rent, through the end of his lease period?
What does the lease say about early termination?
The standard measure of damage for breach of contract in California is the difference between the contract price and the market price at the time you had to replace the tenant/mitigate. You must have acted in good faith in replacing the tenant (not renting low to a buddy). Now, if you live in a rent controlled area, you should consult the operative statute to see if this rule has been modified in any way.