How to break an apt lease
this is not legal advice so do it at your own risk. this is merely an insite into some of the issues and its only about here in nyc. every locality may have their own twists and turns.
my ex-wife got out of her lease thru the advice of our son whos an attorney.
he had her send a certified letter to the landlords agent that she would be vacating on such and such a date and would be surrendering the keys(key word surrendering).
unknown to the landlords agent was he had to respond to her and say no you cant before the day comes and she dropped the keys off.
once the office accepted the keys unkowingly under new york operational law they accepted her terms of surrender.
she dropped the keys off, the office took them back unknowing what they were doing in the eyes of the law and 3 months later they send her a bill for thousands.
when she told them what they did by not responding they said she was wrong.
turned out their lawyers said yep. they blew it by accepting the keys and not answering her and rejecting her terms.
the landlord is under obligation also to help you mitigate your damages too but nyc housing court kind of left that open as to just what they have to do. maybe putting up a sign on a dead end street is enough.
if the landlord says hes not accepting the keys your choices are sublet. or find the landlord a new tenent.
the landlords delima is if you move out and stop paying the rent he has to sue you for the money due on the rest of the contract. it gets sticky here.
if he goes
into the apartment to paint and fix and get it ready to re-rent on his own behalf then here in nyc hes deemed to have taken back possesion of the apartment from you and can only sue you for money up to the point he goes in to paint.
the landlord cant claim hes holding you to the lease and at the same time take possesion to re-rent on his behalf. no double dipping allowed.
if he does nothing and just claims its still your apartment under lease then he risks not getting rent from you for months while he sues you or even if he wins a judgement you dont have the dough.
if you give him permission he can go in and paint and fix to re-rent the apartment on your behalf to mitigate your damages but most landlords dont know they have to ask you first and perferably get written permission to intervene on your behalf.
if the landlord does do it to mitigate your damages and considers the new tenant your sub tenent and gets more money for the apartment then you get the overage.
needless to say it could require you to get a shrewed attorney skilled in this area and not look for legal advice on an internet forum. 99.9 % of the people your asking probley arent even aware of the above and thats only a
small part of the ins and outs of our complex legal system in tenant landlord law. you wont see alot of this in the nyc housing laws because alot of it comes from presidences in court so its not the kind of stuff you can just
look up in black and white as a laymen.
Last edited by mathjak107; 11-14-2009 at 03:51 AM.Source: www.city-data.com