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  1. #1
    Mollylaa is offline Member
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    Unhappy How do i get out of my lease??

    I'm currently living in Maryland now, but am losing my job due to funding cuts. I may have another job offer in Wisconsin starting in January, but my lease is through the end of May 2007. I briefly spoke to the landlord about it, and he said i wasn't allowed to sublet the house. Can they make me pay the rest of the rent? I gave them 2 months notice. If i stay here i'll have no job and won't be able to pay anyway. There must be something I can do- this has to have happened to other people!

    I've been living in the house since may of 2005, and I signed a one-year lease (ending in May 2006) with an automatic renewal clause(?). So i didn't actually sign anything saying i would stay through May 2007, if that matters.

    If they refuse to negotiate an agreement with me, is there anything I can do?
    What is the name of your state?
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    What does the written lease say about your questions?
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    treese is offline Senior Member
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    I may have another job offer in Wisconsin starting in January, but my lease is through the end of May 2007. I briefly spoke to the landlord about it, and he said i wasn't allowed to sublet the house. Can they make me pay the rest of the rent? I gave them 2 months notice.
    If your lease does not have an early termination clause and your LL will not negotiate, you are out of luck and at the mercy of the LL and the current rental market.

    The LL can hold you responsible for the rent for the remainder of the lease term. The LL must attempt to find a replacement tenant and your responsibility for the rent ends when a replacement tenant is found.

    The LL can hold you liable for any costs that he may incur due to your breach, such as advertising costs, agent fees, etc...

    If the LL has multiple vacancies, he is not required to put a tenant into the unit that you have vacated.

    I've been living in the house since may of 2005, and I signed a one-year lease (ending in May 2006) with an automatic renewal clause(?). So i didn't actually sign anything saying i would stay through May 2007, if that matters.
    Maryland Landlord Tenant law allows for automatic renewal clauses. An automatic renewal clause does not require you to sign a new lease. If your lease contained an automatic renewal clause, you signed it and agreed to stay another full term UNLESS you gave proper written notification to terminate (per the lease) to it's expiration date (May 2006).

    If they refuse to negotiate an agreement with me, is there anything I can do?
    Move out and suck it up, paying the rent as it becomes due until a replacement tenant is found.
  4. #4
    Mollylaa is offline Member
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    Thanks for all your advice. Do the landlords have to start looking for a tenant now (since i gave notice), or can they just sit back and make me pay until the term of the lease is up?

    Also, if I have no money and no job, isn't it in their best interest to find someone who can actually pay them? I offered to help advertise for a new tenant, but they said they didn't know and haven't called me back since.

    My dad says I should just move to WI like I planned, and if they want the rest of the rent they have to come and sue me in WI. He said it was probably too much trouble, especially if I have no money for them to collect, and they'd probably just keep my security deposit.

    But how much could this damage my credit and/or have other repercussions? I was reading G1K's post (Lease Breakage;Job End;Returned to native country) and got kind of worried. I don't want to screw anybody, but am feeling kind of screwed myself. Is there anything else I can do to help the situation (besides be super SUPER nice to the landlords)?

    Thanks again
  5. #5
    Mollylaa is offline Member
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    Actually, there is one more thing.

    I just read Sickofmold on this same thread, and there is a good deal of black mold growing in our bathroom (at least). I've asked the landlords about it before and they say "just spray it with bleach." That makes it go away for a while but it comes right back. I'm sure the walls are infested.

    Does this give me grounds to move out?
  6. #6
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
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    Contact the department of health. Have you googled the tenant and landlord rights/responsibilities for your state? Or, are you looking for us to do it for you?

    By the way, your landlord doesn't have to come to YOUR new state to sue you.
    My new signature:
    Originally Posted by arazi
    I'll take you on one-to-one in a volcabulary test anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
  7. #7
    Mollylaa is offline Member
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    Question

    I have googled them, but they were confusing. I'm just asking for some clarification!

    For instance, the Maryland Attorney General's site says (regarding my automatically renewing lease): "An automatic renewal provision in a lease must provide a space for the tenant to give written acknowledgment agreeing to the provision. If the landlord cannot show your signature, initials or witnessed mark acknowledging that provision, the landlord cannot enforce an automatic renewal of the lease."

    Is this acknowledging signature IN ADDITION to where I signed at the bottom of the lease? I didn't know about the renewal before last June, so I don't think I officially acknowledged it.

    Does this mean I technically have no lease for this year, because they can't enforce the renewal? If so, can I move without a penalty?

    Thanks again
    Last edited by Mollylaa; 11-03-2006 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Adding question
  8. #8
    Who's Liable? is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mollylaa View Post
    I have googled them, but they were confusing. I'm just asking for some clarification!

    For instance, the Maryland Attorney General's site says (regarding my automatically renewing lease): "An automatic renewal provision in a lease must provide a space for the tenant to give written acknowledgment agreeing to the provision. If the landlord cannot show your signature, initials or witnessed mark acknowledging that provision, the landlord cannot enforce an automatic renewal of the lease."

    Is this acknowledging signature IN ADDITION to where I signed at the bottom of the lease? I didn't know about the renewal before last June, so I don't think I officially acknowledged it.
    According to that verbage, you are off the hook for the lease renewal. You are correct, you would have had to sign or abbreviate your name on a space next to the auto-renewal clause in order for it to be enforced. Thi is in ADDITION TO your signature at the bottom of the lease. Do you have your original lease? IF not, better FIND it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mollylaa View Post
    Does this mean I technically have no lease for this year, because they can't enforce the renewal? If so, can I move without a penalty?
    Thanks again
    You are correct, see above...
  9. #9
    Ozark_Sophist is offline Senior Member
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    Good catch, Mollylaa. What did the LL say when you showed them that?
  10. #10
    Mollylaa is offline Member
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    Smile

    I DO have the lease, I looked at it yesterday to make sure. There actually is a space, but I never signed in it. I haven't mentioned it to the LL yet, because I have 2 months until my new job starts and don't want them to kick me out now because I don't technically have a lease!

    Also I was hoping to resolve things peaceably, giving them 2 months to find a new tenant.

    Just to make sure, am I within my rights to ask for my security deposit back too? It was like $1200, so it would be reeeeeally nice to have.

    Thanks!!
  11. #11
    Ozark_Sophist is offline Senior Member
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    Read the other posts in this section. You still have to give written notice. After lease ends, it may have reverted to month to month. LL would still have to give you notice as well to vacate. Security deposit return depends on condition of apartment as it normally would. In this case, I would take lots of pictures documenting condition.
    Last edited by Ozark_Sophist; 11-04-2006 at 05:32 PM.
  12. #12
    Who's Liable? is offline Senior Member
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    Send a letter via CRR to the LL requesting your secuirty deposit. Send another letter via CRR giving yur new forwarding address. This puts the LL on a timeline if the state doesn't do so already Send another letter via CRR demanding a walkthrough and give several dates that work for you. You want to give the LLample time and opporunity to make a walkthough appoinment, send your secuirty deposit and adequate time to assess the damages you made tto the rental unit.

    If you did not give 30-days notice, you may be on the hook for that as mentioned before.

    Make sure to keep the lease in a SAFE place. It is NOT uncommon for LL's to magivally "find" a copy of the lease that supports their position. In your case, a leas that shows your initials and ok next to the lease renewal clause.

    If you get ANY of the letters back UNSIGNED, DO NOT OPEN it as it becomes evidence of your attempt to contact them.

    If you do not get your security deposit back from the LL within the appointed amount of time your state deems adeqaute, inform the LL(via CRR) of your immediate demand, and inform them of your intent to sue. EVEN IF you owe money to the LL, it is VERY clear that they MUST return the ENTIRE deposit or forfeit their claim to it. In some states YOU can sue THEM for up to 2x the deposit amount!

    Good Luck!
  13. #13
    LSCAP is offline Member
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    I agree with the walk through.

    Still:
    Take pictures of your apartment, walls, ceilings and floors, and any appliances.

    Some LLs like to claim all sorts of damges, after you move out.
  14. #14
    Mollylaa is offline Member
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    OK, another question- My lease says that i have to give 90 days notice that i want to move out, or it will automatically renew. Now that the renewal clause is un-enforceable, do I still have to give 90 days notice before I move out? I have given 60 days (verbally) and will send a certified letter tomorrow doing the same (still giving 55 days).

    Maryland law says I have to give 15 days (45 days if I actually broke the lease) to request a walk-through, which they can schedule within 5 days before OR 5 days after I move out. If I am moving to Wisconsin and it would be impossible for me to be there after I move, are they still allowed to schedule it then?

    Thank you!
  15. #15
    Gum_Drop is offline Member
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    My brother went through the exact same thing. He Only had 2 months remaining on his lease, talked to the Manager of the complex and explained that he lost his job, and would have to move to DE for a new one, and they also agreed that since he had to break the lease that he wouldnt be asking for his deposit of $1500. Manager told him to leave the place move in ready, which he did, was an older bachelor with no pets, the manger came to apt. after he moved everything out, said the place looked great and that he had people on a waiting list to get in. Wished my brother the best, and shook his hand.

    4 years later when he went to purchase his home, it was on his credit report for 2 months rent. In the meantime, the APT. complex was sold and he had to jump through hoops to find someone to pay the 4K to in order to get it off his CR in order to buy a home.

    So my advice, is if they let you out of your lease, get something in writing stating that, so if they charge you with it afterwards, you would have a letter to send to Credit reporting agencies to have it removed from your report.

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