Breach of Lease I am the owner of a condo in Oakland.

Breach of Lease
I am the owner of a condo in Oakland. I signed a 1 year lease with 2 Tenants in Aug ’02. I collected 1st months rent, a 1 mo. security and August ’03 rent . In Dec ’02 one tenant called, said they would be leaving and sent a letter stating they would leave by the end of December. Subsequently, one tenant moved out, the other stayed, making – by oral agreement – month to month payments on the ”lease”. On Mar 5, 2003, the remaining tenant said he would vacate the condo by Apr 1, would not pay for the month of March and demanded his security deposit. He moved back to the East Coast and is currently travelling abroad. Since then, I have re-rented the condo and have received a letter (from the first tenant who is still local!) threatening legal action if the security deposit is not returned! I mailed an itemized list of the use of the security deposit (covering damages, lost rent, etc…) to both tenants. MY QUESTION(S): Is this not a breach of lease and therefore am I entitled to use the security to cover lost rent? Also, am I entitled to sue the tenants for the month of March? Finally, did the breach occur in December thereby nullifying the lease then or did the lease still stand until March of 2003?

One thought on “Breach of Lease I am the owner of a condo in Oakland.

  1. Re: Breach of Lease
    The lease does not end until the final date. Neither you or a renter can cancel a lease, which is the difference between a month to month and a lease.

    You have an obligation to mitigate your damages, which is to find new tenants for the unit. Once you find new tenants, you can no longer hold the previous tenants liable. You can, however, apply the deposit to any damages and unpaid rent up to the time you found new tenants, and refund the difference.

    If the deposits do not cover the damages and unpaid rent, you can sue either tenant for the portion that has not been paid.

    Ken Koenen
    Koenen & Tokunaga, P.C.
    5776 Stoneridge Mall Rd., Suite 350
    Pleasanton, CA 94588

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