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kzseattle

The Greedy Landlord

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As some of you know, I am relocating out of Houston as required by my employer and therefore I have to terminate my apartment lease prematurely. Apparently, this is a golden opportunity for the landlord to make some money out of me. I pleaded with them to make some concessions given the special circumstances but to no use.

For terminating only a 6 months lease, they want me to pay a fortune, which would cost me the same if I had stayed in the apartment for the remaining period of the lease. Obviously, they would rent out the apartment as soon as I would move out and end up earning twice the amount of rent for that unit.

Fortunately, I found someone to take over the lease from me, which would allow me to avoid the penalties. Now, they want me to forfeit the entire deposit regardless of whether there is any damage in the unit even if someone else takes over the lease.

Naturally, I am furious. I wish I didn

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My question is whether it is legal for them to charge me penalties for breaking the lease given that my spouse signed it both for her and me? Is the lease even valid? If not, how can I challenge them and what legal options do I have?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Okay, state law says that if you break the lease, you have to compensate them until they re-let the unit, or until the lease term expires, whichever comes first. Sate law also says that they have to make a good faith effort to re-let the unit.

So, if they rent it 15 days after you vacate, you only have to pay for 15 days.

As for the wifey-poo's John Hancock....I dunno. Talk to a lawyer....you should incur minimal cost.

Your company won't compensate you for these costs?

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Okay, state law says that if you break the lease, you have to compensate them until they re-let the unit, or until the lease term expires, whichever comes first.  Sate law also says that they have to make a good faith effort to re-let the unit.

So, if they rent it 15 days after you vacate, you only have to pay for 15 days.

As for the wifey-poo's John Hancock....I dunno.  Talk to a lawyer....you should incur minimal cost.

Your company won't compensate you for these costs?

It is not a matter of whether my company would compensate for the cost. It is a matter of pure greed and unprofessional conduct that I would like to address. We are not dealing with humans here. They are zombies; emotionless, cold-hearted, bloodthirsty vultures!

A friend of mine who recently moved to Houston came in today to take over my lease. As he filled out the application, one of the leaches in the office glanced at the application and went "Uh Oh, you don

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It is my suggestion that you should try to record the proceedings and shoot it up to the regional office as quickly as possible.

If they choose to deny his request, then request a copy of the application, or better yet, make a copy and perhaps you can perhaps casually mention discremination or making it that they have inconsistant policy that they choose to follow their own rules.

Ricco

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I'm not sure about Texas, but in New Jersey (where i live) a landlord has 30 days to return a security deposit (via certified mail), and if the landlord decides to withhold the deposit, he must provide the tenant w/an itemized list of damages.

Before you move out, make sure to provide him w/a forwarding address to which he can mail you back the deposit. If after 30 days, the landlord has not mailed you the deposit, I would send him a demand letter stating that under texas law, he is required to provide you w/the security deposit, or an itemization of damages. Therefore, his failure to do so puts him in violation of the security deposit laws and if the situation is not rectified, you will seek legal redress in small claims court.

Now, what it sounds like you're doing is called an "assignment of lease"--someone else is fulfilling the terms of your lease, so there is no breach of the lease contract. Now, I'm not sure if you are entitled to your security deposit 30 days after you move out, or if you are entitled to it 30 days after the original lease term expires. Also, how much notice did you give him?

To me it sounds like the landlord has not suffered financially as a result of your move. you were able to find someone else to fulfill the term of the lease, and i'm assuming there is no damage to the property. With that, the landlord should not be able to withhold your deposit simply because you assigned it to someone else. (unless there is an anti-assigment/sublease clause in the lease).

As for the lack of your signature, I dont think a signature is required in order to have a valid lease--so that argument may be futile.

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Before you move out, make sure to provide him w/a forwarding address to which he can mail you back the deposit. If after 30 days, the landlord has not mailed you the deposit, I would send him a demand letter stating that under texas law, he is required to provide you w/the security deposit, or an itemization of damages. Therefore, his failure to do so puts him in violation of the security deposit laws and if the situation is not rectified, you will seek legal redress in small claims court.

"Shut up, he explained." (Ring Lardner, from The Young Immigrunts)

Even if you follow the letter of the law, it's all up to the judge, and they almost always side with the landlord. Who do you think finance judicial campaigns? Hint: there's not a big renters' rights movement in Texas.

I had a friend whose landlord attempted to keep his security deposit; under law, the landlord was in violation every which way, and should have been required to pay him triple damages. When this was pointed out to the judge, well... see the Ring Lardner quote.

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I'm not sure about Texas, but in New Jersey (where i live) a landlord has 30 days to return a security deposit (via certified mail), and if the landlord decides to withhold the deposit, he must provide the tenant w/an itemized list of damages.

Before you move out, make sure to provide him w/a forwarding address to which he can mail you back the deposit. If after 30 days, the landlord has not mailed you the deposit, I would send him a demand letter stating that under texas law, he is required to provide you w/the security deposit, or an itemization of damages. Therefore, his failure to do so puts him in violation of the security deposit laws and if the situation is not rectified, you will seek legal redress in small claims court.

Now, what it sounds like you're doing is called an "assignment of lease"--someone else is fulfilling the terms of your lease, so there is no breach of the lease contract. Now, I'm not sure if you are entitled to your security deposit 30 days after you move out, or if you are entitled to it 30 days after the original lease term expires. Also, how much notice did you give him?

To me it sounds like the landlord has not suffered financially as a result of your move.  you were able to find someone else to fulfill the term of the lease, and i'm assuming there is no damage to the property. With that, the landlord should not be able to withhold your deposit simply because you assigned it to someone else.  (unless there is an anti-assigment/sublease clause in the lease).

As for the lack of your signature, I dont think a signature is required in order to have a valid lease--so that argument may be futile.

With regards to 30 days notice, oh well, I can only wish I had 30 days. This landlord requires 60 days notice and whether or not I break the lease, I am bound to pay rent for the next 60 days after I give the notice that I would be vacating the unit. I have already given them the notice.

There is a clause in the lease that says that I would lose my deposit if there is any damage to the unit or if I violate other covenants of the lease such as stop paying rent or break the lease. In this case, whats happening is that another person is leasing the unit for the period left on my lease. The landlord is requiring the new tenant to fill out a new application with additional application fee, administrative fee AND secuirty deposit. That person would then be responsible for living in the unit for the remaining period of the lease. At the same time, the landlord is telling me that since the new tenant is essentially signing a separate lease agreement, I am still responsible for breaking the terms of my own lease and therefore would not be entitled to the deposit. MOREOVER, the landlord is also not willing to clean up the unit for the new tenant insisting that the new tenant would have to take the unit as it is. This kind of unfairness is what irritates me and therefore my main concern is not whether my employer would cover the cost but that tenants in this state must have additional rights to protect themselve from such greed. Regardless of who pays up in the end (me, my employer or the new tenant), the money from this robbery is still going to landlord's pocket.

When all is said is done, these thugs wouldnt lose a penny. Instead, they would make more money by robbing me off of my security deposit and collecting application fee and so-called administrative fee from the new tenant while still collecting rent for the full period of my lease term (except that the rent would now come out of a new tenant). In summary, the landlord has obviously not suffered financially.

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