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In apartment complexes I have found that units in "best effort" are the last ones that the property office will show to walk-ins. I left 2 months early one time in a complex with a waiting list and they still managed to leave the place empty until my lease actually ended. (I suspect they filled it with someone who wasn't moving in for a month or so -- but either way they managed to do an amazing least-best effort.

As a landlord I have in the past and would again let a good tenant break a lease to buy a house. In the past I required 60 day notice and started showing the house immediately. I always make it very clear that they MUST move after the 60 days even if they haven't closed on the new place, No exceptions. But I almost always have the place re-rented before anyone leaves.

treasurebeacon said:   JaxFL said:   ...and June of 2012 is when this subject should have been discussed.

You knew your intent and entered into another 1 yr contract.


tenants will always give LLs the shaft before themselves.


And LLs give tenants the shaft. (My LL put the house I'm living in on the market 3 months after I signed a lease. Before we signed, I was like, "Oh, the other house we were renting was put on the market, which was really an inconvenience to us at the rental price we were paying. Do you plan on selling the home?" And they very emphatically said, "No." I, of course, should have known from my legal training that everyone's a liar and written a showings concession into the lease, but who doesn't want to trust sweet, rich old people?)

There are two self-interested parties in the contract. Remedies for breach of a contract are not intended to make the LL better off by the tenant breaking the lease; it's meant to make the LL whole. The law tries to find a medium of what is "fair."

OP, this thread is full of bad advice based on "common sense" (which it turns out is actually not-so-common). The question you have posed is essentially a legal question being answered by lots of people who don't know what they're talking about. You need to look at Washington landlord-tenant law comprehensively (different sections of the statute reference each other and work together) and your lease, which also works in conjunction with the statutes. Sometimes the law just fills in missing terms; sometimes it overrides the provisions in the lease. Read carefully. If you don't know what a word means ("best efforts"), try Google's "legal opinions" option and, focusing on your state, try to find examples of cases where courts have said someone did or did not use best efforts. It's usually a fact-specific inquiry.

Also, as practical advice, instead of offering the leave the apartment "spotless", you should offer to hire a maid service and gardener rather than offer to leave it "spotless". Then all you need to do is show the receipt from hiring the maid service to fulfill the requirement instead of arguing with your landlord about whether there was dust on the window ledge....

This thread confuses me. I thought the whole idea these days was to rent a house and stop paying your mortgage.

bullcity said:   treasurebeacon said:   JaxFL said:   ...and June of 2012 is when this subject should have been discussed.

You knew your intent and entered into another 1 yr contract.


tenants will always give LLs the shaft before themselves.


And LLs give tenants the shaft. (My LL put the house I'm living in on the market 3 months after I signed a lease. Before we signed, I was like, "Oh, the other house we were renting was put on the market, which was really an inconvenience to us at the rental price we were paying. Do you plan on selling the home?" And they very emphatically said, "No." I, of course, should have known from my legal training that everyone's a liar and written a showings concession into the lease, but who doesn't want to trust sweet, rich old people?)

There are two self-interested parties in the contract. Remedies for breach of a contract are not intended to make the LL better off by the tenant breaking the lease; it's meant to make the LL whole. The law tries to find a medium of what is "fair."

OP, this thread is full of bad advice based on "common sense" (which it turns out is actually not-so-common). The question you have posed is essentially a legal question being answered by lots of people who don't know what they're talking about. You need to look at Washington landlord-tenant law comprehensively (different sections of the statute reference each other and work together) and your lease, which also works in conjunction with the statutes. Sometimes the law just fills in missing terms; sometimes it overrides the provisions in the lease. Read carefully. If you don't know what a word means ("best efforts"), try Google's "legal opinions" option and, focusing on your state, try to find examples of cases where courts have said someone did or did not use best efforts. It's usually a fact-specific inquiry.

Also, as practical advice, instead of offering the leave the apartment "spotless", you should offer to hire a maid service and gardener rather than offer to leave it "spotless". Then all you need to do is show the receipt from hiring the maid service to fulfill the requirement instead of arguing with your landlord about whether there was dust on the window ledge....


This is constructive feedback. I agree (in an ideal world) renting is a means to an end for both parties, not just one. I can see how some landlords would become jaded and assume the many if not most of the bunch is short-sighted or out to screw them over. I felt screwed over as a tenant about 12 years ago. I was living in the same 1000 sq foot apartment with a friend for 2 years. We always paid on time. We had re-upped for another 1 year lease. The month afterward re-upping the lease the Landlord informed us she wanted to perform some routine maintenance while both my roommate and I were living there. She said it would be non-disruptive and that the work would be done quickly. The maintenance went awry and it turned into a multi-week ordeal. Hindsight 20-20 we should of asked a little more about what the routine maintenance was. The kitchen was hardly unusable and we could not sit in the living room for weeks because the ducting work and plastic covering our furniture etc. We moved out and she of course refused returning the damage deposit. I recall that her income was fixed and being a landlord was one of her few sources of income. I knew this because we had also been on friendly terms. At any rate we were relieved to be out of there and I never heard more about the lease. I like the idea of using a maid service for leaving the place spotless. Having a paper trail from a professional service is a good idea even though I am currently on good terms with the landlord. I'm off to do some homework been wrapped up in the house and kid activities. Thanks again.

this might be an opportunity for the LL to raise rent for the next tenant depending on the local markets in your city. I have read about rising rent in some cities. it could be a win-win if a new tenant was already lined up and ready to pay more per month. do you know anyone that wants to rent your place?

Why not make an offer on a house contingent on seller paying off lease?



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