Breaking an rental house lease in California I am in a 12 month house rental…

Breaking an rental house lease in California

I am in a 12 month house rental lease in
California. I need to break my lease. I have 2
other roommates. We all have separate leases.
How do I go about breaking my lease?

One thought on “Breaking an rental house lease in California I am in a 12 month house rental…

  1. Re: Breaking an rental house lease in California
    The expression ‘break my lease’ means ‘breach my contract’ in the context of landlord-tenant contracts. As with any other breach of contract, you breach the lease contract by failing to abide by its terms.

    If you mean ‘how can I avoid my obligations with minimum adverse consequences,’ here are some ideas:

    First, look at your lease, or preferably, all three leases, to see what it/they say(s) (if anything) about subletting, assigning, joint and several liability among the three of you, and liquidated damages for breach. Be guided accordingly when considering whether the following will work.

    1) Assign your lease to your roommates. They will have to pay what you owe, but perhaps they are willing to do so in exchange for the extra room.

    2) Find someone to take your place with your roommates’ cooperation and permission.

    3) Negotiate a rent reduction with the landlord to reflect the lower occupancy.

    4) Is there a security deposit issue?

    5) If each of you truly has a separate lease to the same apartment or house, it is possible you may have the right to find your own replacement without your roommates’ permission. Without seeing the leases and the premises, it’s hard to say how realistic or reasonable this is, but the legal notion of a separate lease ordinarily includes the right to sublease or assign whatever rights you have.

    6) Remember that landlords have a ‘duty’ to mitigate damages. In this unusual situation, I’m not sure what that ‘duty’ amounts to …. if it were a potentially vacant apartment, the ‘duty’ would be to try to find a substitute tenant. It seems less likely the landlord would have a ‘duty’ to find a replacement roommate!

    Overall, I think your best shot at avoiding being sued for moving out early is to negotiate long and hard with everyone concerned, especially the landlord.

    Bryan Whipple
    Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
    P O Box 318
    Tomales, CA 94971-0318

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