Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Virginia

If I break my appartment lease?


I really need some advice. I have signed an appartment lease agreement as co-applicant. After 8 months, people, that I was trying to help escaped. I gave 60 days notice and was paying rent for 2 months. I can not keep doing that, and the management of the appartmret complex says that they will charge me 1800 extra to break the lease. What are the worst consequences if I would not pay? Can they report to a collection agency? The lease was signed by 3 people, does it mean that all 3 will be reported to the collection?


Asked on 11/17/05, 8:05 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: If I break my appartment lease?

Those who are responsible for the lease, meaning those who signed it, could be subject to collection action which, obviously, would include your absconding co-tenants.

It sounds as if the 12 month term of the lease is nearly up and, if so, you will then have to decide whether it's more cost effective for you to simply pay the rent until the lease expires or

accept the terms that the landlord is offering in

order to end it prematurely.

Note: Your story is one more cautionary tale regarding the potential pitfalls and risks of signing leases as a co-tenant with people whom you do not know very well. Quite often they will abscond as in your current situation and you will end up paying for what was suppose to be their share of the rent.

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Answered on 11/17/05, 8:28 am

Robert Strupp Robert J. Strupp,Attorney at Law, PLC

Re: If I break my appartment lease?

A co-signer is liable for all the tenant obligations under the lease. Based on the facts you have given, if this is a 12 month lease, there appears to be 2 months remaining. 8 months plus 2=10. Also, you have given 60 days notice to cancel and the other tenants have abandoned the property. You might try to work out a settlement with the Landlord, but there is no obligation to accept less than the lease terms. All named tenants would be sued/reported to to the credit bureau, but if you are the only one served,you would be liable for 100%. Your recourse is against the "escapees".

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Answered on 11/17/05, 9:06 am

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