Rentals in 98007>Question Details

Sachin, Home Buyer in 98012

Early lease termination

Asked by Sachin, 98012 Sun Feb 27, 2011

Hi All,

We are bought a new home and gave 20 days notice to vacate the apartment. My contract says I need to pay 2 months of worth of rent as early lease termination fees. My friend who lived in same apartment complex had same contract (2 months of rent for lease termination fees), but management charged him only 1 month of rent as early lease termination fees.

I tried my best to convince them to charge me only 1 month of rent instead of two. But they are very adament about it. I did tell them about my friends case, but they are still adamant about it. I feel like i am not begin fairly treated and feel like discriminated. I tried sub leasing it but I can't find any one to sublease it.

Any help/suggestions?

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Kary Krismer’s answer
Rob, I wouldn't view this as a way the landlord makes a lot of money. It's actually very nice of them to have a clause that allows a tenant an out by paying two months rent. Absent that clause the tenant would be stuck in the lease until the end. I'd also note that in a bad rental market it might be more than two months before the unit is rented, and it might be rented at a lower rate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
You may not like my answer...
You should speak with an attorney.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
A contract is a contract. There is no special treatment or discrimination here, the situations may be different and non the less your friend shouldn't have even told you if they made some kind of adjustment for her. It still falls back to the contract, whatever is in writing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
Talk to an attorney.

I'm not an attorney, so this isn't legal advice. However . . .

You and management are bound by the terms and conditions of your lease. If the lease says you owe 2 month's of rent as an early lease termination fee, that's what you owe.

You feel like you're not being treated fairly. Huh? Because you're being required to adhere to the terms of a lease that you voluntarily signed?

You feel like you're being discriminated against? Huh? Now, discrimination is a very serious charge. If you have evidence that you're being discriminated against (as a member of a protected class), then by all means take it to the authorities. On the other hand, if you simply mean that your friend got a better deal than you did, that's not discrimination.

See a lawyer.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
One other possibility is that the friend moved in during a tight rental period, paid first, last and deposit, and forgot that the last month rent had already been paid when paying one additional month's rent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
I am curious to know why you wait until last min to give them 20 days notice ?

just pay the fee and move on with your life.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
If you have a case, David is right; you'll need an attorney to tell you. As far is what you present, you are being asked to keep your end of the contract (lease) you signed. Your friend said they got a better deal than you are, but were they there longer, did they tell you the truth, are they related to the management, are there other possibilities that I haven't through of?
It's hard to say because someone else may have gotten a better deal that by keeping to your agreement you are being treated unfair. Best of luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
Congratulations on your new home! You knew what the contract said when you signed it, correct? Why would you expect anything more or less?

Just pay the two months and spend your time and energy celebrating your new home!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
Bottom line it comes down to what is what was agreed by both parties (landlord and tenant) in YOUR lease agreement, the fact that someone else in the same complex had different terms is irrelevant because their contract may be different. If you feel as though you may be discrimated against or that your are unsure how to interpret your lease agreement you could always research your rights under the Tenants Rights Act and there are free services available to find out the basics. But I suspect if you are in a complex there is probably language in the body of your contract that speaks about the penalties that will be incurred IF you cancel -- I am sure this is not what you were wanting to hear, but best place to start now is to pull out your lease agreement and see what it says.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
Dear Sachin;

Unfortunately property management firms make a large percentage of their revenues from this type of situation....and they usually do all they can to keep all they can. This bolsters income from mgmt fees that are based upon a percentage of the monthly lease. Also, it isn't cheap to re-rent an apartment. As a landlord, from that perspective, I might keep you to your end of the contract. It doesn't really matter what happened with your friend. What matters is your contract. It sounds, however, that with your short sale issues thast you may have to stay in the apartment anyhow.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
Lease is a lease on terms and etc. What MAY have worked for your friend at one time PERHAPS that mgr. got in trouble breach of lease . You must follow the lease OR confer with an attorney , many apt complexes do sue !

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011
I would agree with the first answer, that this is a legal question which needs an attorney to review the documents and then give an answer.

I would also raise the possibility that the friend was mistaken as to exactly how he was treated. Perhaps between the notice period, the time he lived their and the penalty he didn't realize exactly what was what. It's also possible that the landlord's agent simply made a mistake in that case, and that wouldn't require that they make the same mistake going forward.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 28, 2011

I hope you were not serious about recommending not paying the fee. Property Management can put this on her credit report and collection. She will have to pay it later plus fee plus damaged credit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
It is really hard to determine the truth of the matter her as to why they are treating you differently. Bottm line is that you legally owe the 2 months per your contract. However, you can always not pay it & hope they do not do anything about it. After all, it is a big hassle to go after somebody.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
well the fact that your friend got a deal..really hurt your cause. As far as the discriminated factor, im not an attorney, but you really have to prove that there are many cases where a certain race of people who moved out of the place early were charged 2 months versus another group who was only charged one can't just throw that out there.

I think what happen was they made an exception one time and the owners / investors found out about it, and made sure this doesn't happen again. they are in the business to make money, not give breaks on contracts...

unless you probably had a circumstance which was really uncontrollable like a death in the family, or something like that? i dont know how how u would fight a contract in black and white. maybe your friend got real lucky?

either way, just leave on good terms so they dont give you any bad vibes...right?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 27, 2011
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