Back on September 6th I signed a 12 month lease for a home in San Ramon, CA. I paid a security deposit and partial months rent to cover September 15th to October 1st. For multiple personal reasons I decided not to lease the home and contacted the property management company on September 12th to let them know. The house is just sitting vacant. I haven't even done a walk through or got the keys yet. I know I'm "legally" obligated to pay the entire year's rent, but is there anything I can do to minimize my liability here? Does the owner have any obligation to try to rent the home knowing they've got me "on the hook"? Any advice is sincerely appreciated. Thanks!
2 Answers from Attorneys
The landlord has an obligation to "mitigate" it's damages; meaning the landlord must take reasonable steps to rent to someone else. While you are still liable for breaching the lease, the landlord's failure to mitigate it's damages may reduce the amount of your liability.
I agree with Mr. Hoffman. You will have to pay damages of the landlord's rent until he can find a new tenant.