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Kendra

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 

We gave our landlord more than 30 days notice and moved out 21 days before our lease was up. The very day after we moved out the new tenants moved in. The landlords are charging us a early termination fee of $975 even though there was no lose in rental income. They say it is to cover advertising and commisions. It's my understanding of California law that they can't do this since there was no loss of rental income. Also, I requested proof/ receipts and did not receive them in the 21 days alotted.


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Kendra Graves
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,755
Reply with quote  #2 
If you moved out early, you did break your lease.  That required advertising the unit before it was due.  You owe for the advertising fees.  Had you waited until your lease was up, those fees would have been the LL's responsibility.  Did you not pay your last month's rent?  Of course, you owe rent until the unit was re-rented.  That means when the new tenants pay rent, not necessarily when they take occupancy.  You'd have to find out when they paid.

Exactly what commissions were lost?  Did the LL have an agent or property manager they had to pay for the entire lease period (including the period you had moved out)?  If so, you have to pay that agent's commission since it was required as a part of the contract on your lease.  Or was an agent used to secure the new tenant?  You would owe for that since it wouldn't have been needed at that time (you were still under lease).

The 21 day period is to provide you an itemized statement of your deductions.  If their statement listed an amount for advertising and commissions, they complied with the law.  If you want copies of receipts, you may have to sue.  Good luck.
Kendra

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 

We paid our rent for the last month. My problem with the early termination charge is that they told me it would be $975 even before they did any advertising. The lease did not state any money amount for breaking the lease early. It just stated that there would be a fee to cover commissions, lost rent, paint, and advertising. So when they told me it would be $975 before even starting the process, I was weary. Before we moved out I asked for an accounting of this and never got it. I feel the fee is very high since we moved out only 16 days before our lease was up. Also the management company does there advertising on free websites. Their own website is powered by a free domain so I highly doubt they paid that much in advertising. There was no lost rent and they didn't have to do anything to prep the house for new tenants because we did it all. California law requires that within 21 days a tenants deposit be returned along with an accounting of any monies withheld from the deposit by the LL. They did not do this. So I think I will go to small claims court. What do you think?


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Kendra Graves
Kendra

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #4 

We actually moved out 21 days before the lease was up.


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Kendra Graves
OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,755
Reply with quote  #5 

Quote:

So when they told me it would be $975 before even starting the process, I was weary.



If you knew the termination fee was so steep, why didn't you just keep the keys for the extra 3 weeks?  Use that time to clean the place spotless, move at a leisurely pace into your new place?  The rent was paid for that period so what would it have cost you?
Kristin

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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #6 
You paid for your last month? You just weren't in the unit? If that is correct then you didn't really violate the lease since you paid up until you where suppose too. As for the termination fee, generally speaking if there is not one in you lease the only thing that they can hold you responsible for is rent up until you lease expires which you paid. While advertising is a responsibly of the tenant breaking lease I believe you could easily argue in court that you didn't actually break your lease since you paid up until you where suppose to. This is assuming you left no utility bills are other such things unpaid.



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enilec

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #7 
Kendra-

What ever came of this? I am in a very similar situation and our LL is trying to take $1,600 for rental commissions which I now assume is his fee to the LL for re-renting the house, even though we did all the work and he didn't even have to clean it up as we did all that for him.

I'd appreciate any feedback or insight you have because of a $4000 deposit we are being charged over $2,700 and are very frustrated.

Thanks!
LLinVA

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Posts: 308
Reply with quote  #8 
This is from six years ago! Don't bring dead threads back to life. 
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