• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Tenant breaks lease, how much to pay back

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New Jersey

Hi I rented my house to a tenant, signed a lease with them and they gave 2 months deposit. Before they moved in, she informed informed me that she is moving in with her parents instead. After a month of intense searching, I found new tenants to rent the property - but for several hundred less per month. My question is, can I hold the original tenant responsible for the month the house was vacant and the difference in rent? I originally thought I could because its my understanding that when you sign a lease you are in some way responsible for the total amount due for the term of that lease. The tenant that bailed out is willing to pay for the vacant month but not for the difference in rent.

thanks in advance for your help!!


Senior Member
That sounds like a fair compromise to me. I don't think it's a sure thing you'd get the difference in rent if you were to take it to court.


Senior Member
Its a hard stretch to get the difference in the reduced rent out of the original tenant , YOU are entitled to the number of days rent you would have been paid by them had they moved in , up to the point the new tenant paid you though inc any fair cost related to getting the new customer in, Personally I dont think the court would allow you to collect the difference simply because it was your choice to re rent it at a lower rate, see if you would have held out longer its possible you could have found a replacement at the rate you had orginally rented the unit out at.


Junior Member
Wouldnt the tenant responsible for the balance of the rent? According to rentlaw.com i found the following:

'The LANDLORD can rerent the unit for LESS then what you paid and you may be liable for the difference - but only for the period that remained on your lease.'

I think it varies by jurisdiction. Would anyone know how i can look up the laws in different states/jurisdictions on this?


Senior Member
It does indeed apply differently according to jurisdiction. But in my search, I found no specific application for New Jersey.

The answer in your case lies in the lease itself. What does it say regarding early termination?

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential