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Is my landlord being unreasonable?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by frianbisher, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. frianbisher


    Dec 28, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    So, my job is getting transferred out of state and I need to move out of my apartment in literally 2 days. I signed a lease to rent this place in june but I gotta get out of here. It's a fact that if you break the lease here you have to pay a penalty of $1200, which is fine I signed the paperwork for that.

    I told them I would pay them the rent for next month which only seems fair because I am leaving all of the sudden, but here is what they want me to pay in total:

    2 months rent: $1100
    Penalty: $1200

    They said if I didn't pay it all they would threaten me with some vague legal action....I don't know what I'm supposed to do since I don't have that kind of money just laying around. What would you do? What seems right in this situation?
  2. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    well, you DID sign a lease. you agreed to the penalty. that you have to pay as you agreed. the 2 month's rent I don't see if there was an already agreed to penalty.
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    What does the lease contract say?
  4. frianbisher


    Dec 28, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    It seems you have to be a contract lawyer to understand all the wording in this contract but here is what I have to go off of.

    If resident does not fullfill the entire intial term resident shall be liable to owner for the costs incurred by owner as a result of early termination. These costs are in addition to damages and rent (including future rent)...

    In short I think this means I have to pay up, but how are they supposed to get money from me when I don't have it?
  5. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    By taking you to court. A lease is insurance for the landlord, that their financial needs are to be met by blocking out and contracting determined lengths of tenancy to the renter. Sucks, but that's why I never signed leases. Too much of a risk. Then again, a mortgage is a real long term lease...(to own, but still)
  6. Tat2dHeart

    Tat2dHeart Only two strings away from an attitude problem.

    If your job is transferring you out of state, you might ask your employer to cover the costs of breaking your lease as part of your relocation package. Relos are harder to get today than they were a few years ago, but they're not unheard of and since you are moving at the company's request, they might pony up the money to cover part or all of your penalties.
  7. frianbisher


    Dec 28, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    Ahhh, yeah this is a tough spot to be in, I fully understand that I signed a legally binding agreement, and I would totally pay them the cash if I had it. I don't know what they could do to me in court...wage garnishment is my guess. This is really maddening, I'm 23 and have an excellent credit rating and I really don't want that to get all screwed up. They want about $2200 and I don't even make that much in a month.

    And for various reasons I won't get into publicly I don't think relocation assistance will be an option.
  8. A bit of a late long shot here, but can you sublet?
    I used to be a building manager, and that was one way of dealing with similar situations. If you, or your employer, can find someone to take over your lease, you might be in the clear, to a point. If you have agreed to pay another months rent, that should give you enough time to find someone to take over. They would most likely have to apply for the apt, and be approved, as you probably did.
    I'm basing this off my own expreience in Ontario, Canada, so your laws may be different.
    How much notice are you supposed to give? Some places require 60 days, some 30. It sounds like they expect rent in lieu of notice, plus the penalty. Looks like they may be trying to rip you off, IMO. Check around online for something like a landlord/tenant act and see if anything pops up.
    Another thing, is the building owned by a reputable company or an individual?
  9. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Ask your employer to cover the costs because this move is so sudden.
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    A reasonable request.
  11. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    You'll be able to write off your moving expenses on next years taxes, see if you can include these costs in your deduction.
  12. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    Don't blow it off, whatever you do. One day about 12 years ago my accounts got frozen because of a lease dispute that my ex wife had with a landlord 15 years prior. Yeah, ridiculous, and I got 5k deducted automatically and had to fight to get it back.

    If work is making you move, they have to know that you can't just pick up and run. I'd let them know the deal, but tactfully.
  13. Have to agree with the folks saying to get your employer to cover this.

    If they literally only gave you 2 days notice for moving, then they'll know there is substancial costs involved. Get them to cover it.

    You agreed to the landlords terms, so that point it pretty null and void, they do seem pretty harsh, but I'm in a different neck of the woods.
  14. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I've never seen a lease like that. 2 months rent plus an additional $1200?!?! A typical lease (that I've ever signed) required 30 days notice and the following months rent. In fact, when we first moved to Virginia from NY, we leased an apt. The neighbor upstairs was an idiot and just made noise above us just to be spiteful. So we decided we were outta there after only 4 months! We searched around and found a nice townhouse. We broke the lease and only had to pay the next months rent. If it's a nice apt. the landlord will not have an issue finding a new tenant! In any case, as suggested, see if you can sublet until the lease is up. Surely someone you know could use a place to stay for a hot minute!
  15. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    When I signed a lease at my last place, if I broke it I'd only be required to pay rent until it was rented out, with a guarantee that they could rent it in 30 days...which I see now as bogus since I've been out of there since August when my lease was up and they still haven't rented it :)

    I understand the last or next months rent depending on how you look at it, and the penalty, but not two months rent. That's excessive..

    Do you have a security deposit or did you pay first/last when you moved in?
  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Pay the $1200 and be prepared to forfeit your security deposit. No way I would pay two months rent on top of the penalty and I seriously doubt any judge would agree with it either.
  17. frianbisher


    Dec 28, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    Yeah excessive seems to be the right word here. The things about this place is it is a huge complex in one of the not so nice zip codes in the Salt Lake area, and I see apartments sit vacant for two months before new tenants move in. This has been a less than enjoyable renting experience so far. When I moved in they said rent was $489 for my studio but when I went to pay rent the first time they said I also had to pay $40 a month for cable and $15 for parking...never mentioned that to me. That's why I think they will try to get every penny from me they can.

    When I moved in I payed them something like $200 for a cleaning deposit so there isn't really a security deposit. They can keep the $200.

    I'm going to ask them nicely today if we can work something out.
  18. Contact a tenant rights organization in your state. They should be able to advise you.
  19. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Just a question... but how does ones employment get transferred out of state on such short notice?
  20. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Look at the state's leaser-leasee laws, most of them have a maximum penalty that can be applied to early termination and judging by my guesstimate of your rent (looks like $550/mo) the penalty your landlord is imposing may be way above the legal limit.

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