I'M the one breaking a lease agreement and need help

5 Replies

So I found myself in a different situation recently and am not sure how to handle it. Long story short I put up my primary residence and my rental condo up for sale and I was going to buy a new primary home. They both sold very quickly and I was unable to find the right new house to buy so I ended up renting. 

Fast forward 9 months, and I unexpectedly (wasnt actively searching) found the right new home, placed an offer and it was accepted. I told the property manager of the home i was renting and she thought the owner may want to sell the house I am renting. 

We kept the house in immaculate condition and furnished nicely so it staged well and they just accepted an offer with a proposed settlement for end of August. It sounds like once inspections are completed and the deal looks solid they'll terminate my lease. 

My question is this, shouldn't I be entitled to my security deposit? We've been extremely cooperative and on good terms with everyone. Although we did break the lease 3 months early... But they sold the home. 

I haven't asked about my security deposit yet and already paid for my last month which is July. 

Well that was longer than planned! Appreciate any thoughts.  

Technically no, your lease probably states (as most do) that you forfeit your security deposit if you terminate the lease early.  On the other hand you did help them out and if I were you landlord I would give it back to you since you didn't do any damage to the house and I didn't incur any loss of income because the property was vacant.  It will truly be up to what you landlord thinks and how they will handle it.  I would call them and talk about it for sure so you can verify which way it was heading and say your piece.

Did you negotiate anything with the landlord about breaking the lease?  I would agree that if you negotiated leaving early that you should not be charged any lease breaking fee.  Ideally you would have that in writing.  That doesn't mean you will get all of your deposit back.  There could still be other deductions.

Thank you both for your opinions. I emailed my property manager and she thinks I will be getting it back. At least she hasn't heard anything stating otherwise from the landlord, so I'll just hope for the best. 

Thanks again!

Since I weirdly like looking up laws...LOL... I looked up those for PA.  Please don't tell me you're renting in another state ha ha.

In PA, first of all, landlords can deduct rent owed and damages from the security deposit.  They also have to pay interest on the deposit money.

Next, in PA, landlords don't have a duty to mitigate damages.  This means, if you break your lease, they don't have to try to find another tenant to take over your lease.  But, they can't double dip.  So, if you break your lease and move out early, and the LL does put a new tenant in before your lease would have expired, the LL can't charge you both rent.

The law also does say, though, that there is nothing to preclude a LL from deducting something from your deposit, that was agreed on in your lease.

So, if there was a lease-break fee in the lease, the LL can take it out of your deposit.  And he can charge you rent to the end of your lease, if he doesn't either sell the place or rent it to someone else prior to the end of the lease termination date.

The LL has 30 days to send you your deposit and/or list of deductions from the day you vacate and turn over keys.

That's my understanding based on these websites:

http://www.justanswer.com/real-estate-law/3fux7-st...

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/pennsylvani...

Here's the actual code. Use your search feature for "250.511" to get to the right section.

http://laws.uslandlord.com/laws/pastatelaw.html

Why is the lease being broken?  Pretend that you are not the tenant and purchasing the property.  As the new owner, you would be entitled to the ENTIRE security deposit (this is not the seller's money) because, as a new owner you would carry the risk of damages.

Also, you would continue to honor the lease or come to another agreement with the tenant.

In other words, don't break the lease, buy the property with the lease intact and honor it or terminate it by "mutual" agreement after you close.

Wm

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