I live in Indiana. I signed a 13 month lease to rent a house, but I broke the lease after 7 months. I informed my landlord that i would be breaking the lease, and i helped her find a new tenant. There was literally no gap between my move-out date and the new tenant's move-in date. The new tenant moved in the day after i moved out. By my landlord's own admission, I left the property in excellent condition with no damages.
However, out of my $1500 security deposit, she kept half ($750). She said it was customary to forfeit the entire security deposit because I broke the lease. But since I left the property in such good condition and helped her find a new tenant, she was being nice and returning half of the security deposit to me. She was keeping $750 as compensation for her time/trouble.
Is she justified in doing this? I know she only advertised through craigslist (for free). She did come to the house a few times to show it to potential tenants (something that I also cooperated with).
This doesn't seem fair. She kept $750 of my security deposit, and there was no damage to the landlord's property and no loss of rent for the landlord. In fact, I paid a professional cleaning service $150 so that the move-in for the new tenants would be seamless.
1 Answer from Attorneys
$750 is reasonable.