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.
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.
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.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
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.
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?