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How to break a lease in florida??

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Latest post Fri, May 29 2015 4:49 PM by Drew. 11 replies.
  • Thu, May 28 2015 3:30 PM

    • weimed
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, May 28 2015
    • FL
    • Posts 1

    How to break a lease in florida??

    Hi all, I am trying to find out how to legally break a lease? i am looking to purchase a home and the management Company is refusing any type of agreement (7 months left). Is there any loop holes i can use to fight this? i did look at my area and have seen a bunch of crime in the recent months. i do not mind losing my deposit or even 2 months of rent if nessesary. Is it worth going to court over? 

  • Thu, May 28 2015 4:00 PM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    weimed:
    Hi all, I am trying to find out how to legally break a lease? i am looking to purchase a home and the management Company is refusing any type of agreement (7 months left). Is there any loop holes i can use to fight this?

    No.

    Under the circumstances you describe you have no "legal" grounds to break the lease without consequences which include, but might not be limited to, losing your deposit, getting sued, losing the lawsuit, trashing your credit, getting your wages and your bank account garnished.

    weimed:
    i did look at my area and have seen a bunch of crime in the recent months.

    That doesn't do it.

    The landlord is not a guarantor of your security.

    weimed:
    i do not mind losing my deposit or even 2 months of rent if nessesary

    Did you offer two months rent? Are you willing to pay three months rent? Four?

    weimed:
    Is it worth going to court over? 

    No.

    You'll lose.

    There is a possibility that you could limit your exposure to monetary damages if you just pack up and move when your house closes escrow and is ready for occupancy.

    If there is an early termination fee provided for in your lease, the landlord is limited to two months rent.

    If there is no such provision the landlord could be limited to charging you only from the day you leave until the day he rerents.

    See Florida statute section 83.595:

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.595.html

    Unfortunately, while mitigation could limit your cost to a month or less, there is a risk that the landlord could

    "(3) Stand by and do nothing, holding the lessee liable for the rent as it comes due"

    That means he could conceivably leave the place vacant until the lease expires and come after you for all the months left on the lease.

    While that could happen, the chances are remote that any property owner will risk leaving his property vacant for many months while no money is coming in. I owned rentals for 20 years and would never have even considered it no matter how ticked off at a tenant I was.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Thu, May 28 2015 10:47 PM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    Agree with adjuster jack, except that if your rental unit is an apartment in a large complex that always has some vacancies, they may prefer putting their effort into renting out their other vacant apartments while continuing to charge you rent every month for the rest of your lease period, as allowed by Florida law.

    Most states require landlords to mitigate their damages (make real efforts to re-rent the unit) when a tenant breaks a lease, but not Florida.

  • Fri, May 29 2015 6:50 AM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    karen2222:
    Most states require landlords to mitigate their damages (make real efforts to re-rent the unit) when a tenant breaks a lease, but not Florida.

    Florida does require it. See the statute I cited.

    Most states do require landlord mitigation either by statute or by case law but also gives the landlord the opportunity to do nothing and continue to be entitled to rent for the duration. Rarely happens in residential rentals due to the risks involved.

    Damage mitigation is actually a basic doctrine of contract law and has evolved to include leases and rental agreements.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, May 29 2015 8:00 AM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    adjuster jack:

    karen2222:
    Most states require landlords to mitigate their damages (make real efforts to re-rent the unit) when a tenant breaks a lease, but not Florida.

    Florida does require it. See the statute I cited.

    As I understand that Florida statute, it makes mitigating damages only one of four choices available to landlords, and since the option to behave as though the tenant had NOT moved out is also available, that means mitigating damages is entirely optional.

    How am I wrong?

    adjuster jack:
    Damage mitigation is actually a basic doctrine of contract law and has evolved to include leases and rental agreements.

    Yes, in states with no clear language addressing the issue this is true.  But when the language of the statute explicitly says landlords can choose not to mitigate damages, that statute language governs, no?

     

  • Fri, May 29 2015 8:24 AM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    You're not wrong. A landlord can choose not to mitigate provided he does not retake possession of the property.

    As a practical matter it's a choice with potentially unpleasant and expensive consequences that landlords rarely opt for.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, May 29 2015 8:48 AM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    I gather your lease term ends around the end of 2015.  Correct?  When did it begin?

    When you sign a lease for a term, you obligate yourself to pay rent for the entire term.  Unless the lease contains a provision for early termination or your landlord agrees to voluntary termination, if you leave early, you're on the hook for rent through the end of the lease term.  I agree with the interpretation of the relevant statute discussed in the prior responses that an attempt to mitigate damages is not required.

     

    weimed:
    i did look at my area and have seen a bunch of crime in the recent months.

    So...???

  • Fri, May 29 2015 10:02 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    Agree with folks above..but if you attempt to mitigate by finding a subtenant and do find one it may help your side of equation?  And while lease might say no subtenants...LL may be hard pressed to deny you same and still claim damages

    ....the,common law which maY or may not apply is the breeching side has duty to mitigate.

    And even if you need to eat a fraction of the subrent  it may be cheaper than a court debate.....



  • Fri, May 29 2015 10:09 AM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    Drew:
    ....the,common law which maY or may not apply is the breeching side has duty to mitigate.

    You keep getting that backwards. :-)

    At common law the non-breaching side has the duty to mitigate.

    From the Restatement (2d) of Contracts:

    350. Avoidability as a Limitation on Damages

    (1) Except as stated in Subsection (2), damages are not recoverable for loss that the injured party could have avoided without undue risk, burden or humiliation.

    (2) The injured party is not precluded from recovery by the rule stated in Subsection (1) to the extent that he has made reasonable but unsuccessful efforts to avoid loss.

    http://home.comcast.net/~rnhauck/BusLaw/201RestConts.pdf 

    The breaching side has the option, but not the obligation, to mitigate.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, May 29 2015 10:54 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    Thanks...I stand corrected.

    Does not out that OP/tenant can reduce his losses by a sublet , irrespective of what lease may say, LL may have a hard time in front of judge if he is seeking balance of lease and has blocked tenant from sublease.

    My leases had acceleration clause and careful language ....judges where not keen to award full balance upon default unless I Was ultra squeaky clean.....



  • Fri, May 29 2015 3:37 PM In reply to

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    Drew:
    Does not out that OP/tenant can reduce his losses by a sublet , irrespective of what lease may say, LL may have a hard time in front of judge if he is seeking balance of lease and has blocked tenant from sublease.

    True.

    Under similar circumstances I would allow the sublet but still keep the original tenant on the hook if anything went wrong.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, May 29 2015 4:49 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    Re: How to break a lease in florida??

    Agree...I too as LL would,seek a sublet not,a novation......always better to have two pots,to back up a lease...



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