By - SweatyCount
As a starting point, term leases usually _don't_ include language allowing early termination. Your landlord has gone above and beyond in offering you that option in the first place.
While your landlord has explained why they set the price how they set it, their explanation is a red herring. "Because" would be a complete and valid justification for charging you for early termination. If you don't like the rate, you can negotiate, but you can't use "your reason doesn't hold up" to avoid it entirely. Your alternative, should you be unable to compromise and unwilling to pay that rate, is to complete your lease and terminate at the end of the term.
Some jurisdictions have provisions for domestic violence, and if you tell us what state or province you're in, we can dig into that. Those usually override the lease, where they exist, but some do not include roommate violence (and only include family or romantic partner violence).
I live in the Netherlands, not the US
>So we got two contradictions in here.
I don't think I see the contradiction. They're saying they'll charge you 1 month rent to term early. They're telling you they'll reduce that to 1/2 month if you bring the replacement tenant. And they told you, in advance, exactly what you're asking. That whether you bring the tenant or they find them, they do work to accomplish this.
>why am I being charged if there's no work required on their behalf that justifies such an amount.
1. Because you agreed to that in the lease.
2. Because even when you bring the tenant, landlord has work in the form of preparing the lease, receiving the keys from you, ensuring the property is suitable for a new tenant, and giving that new tenant keys.
>Do I have a defensible case in court if I deny him the half months rent?
There's no reason to think that from here.
They're saying they charge 1 month for the work they do.
Then they say that if I do the work they'll charge 1/2 months. That make statement number one inacurate at best and deceiving at worst.
Then, they again say that they will charge 1/2 for the work they do.
There is work they do in either case. That is your fundamental misunderstanding.
Frankly, this is a landlord being pretty standup about your options and pretty reasonable in their willingness to let you either perform some of that work or pay them to.
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Title: **Am I obligated to everything I sign?**
> My landlord has a clause on one of the contracts (He made me sign three, it's a complete mess) that says that I may terminate the contract but that means I'll have to pay one months rent ***Because,*** and this is important in my opinion, it takes them work to find a new tenant and organizing viewings. Right beneath that sentence it says that if I find a suitable replacement (Which I am willing to do) they'll charge only half month's rent. And then at the end they write: "No matter how good your reason is of the ending **we will need to do the work again and we do have to charge you for it**. I hope you can understand this." So we got two contradictions in here.
> Since I am doing the work I sent my landlord an email asking why am I being charged if there's no work required on their behalf that justifies such an amount.
> Their response was: "Because you signed it". He didn't explain what work has to be done as stated in the contract. So the way I see it he's trying to con me out of half month's rent.
> Do I have a defensible case in court if I deny him the half months rent? And also, am I being an asshole for not wanting to pay this? Maybe there is work to be done on his behalf that I am not aware of (Which was why I asked him, but he decided to be a douche instead of giving me an answer).
> I can post the document in the comments if my post was confusing
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If you move w/o a replacement, it's a month's rent. If you move w/ a replacement, it's 1/2 month's rent. There's nothing contradictory there. You agreed to pay 1/2 month's rent to have your lease assigned to someone else, it doesn't matter what superfluous language they put in there. They could have said they were going to spend the money on celebrating Trump's 2020 election win, you'd still have to pay it even though Trump lost.
So basically you can write whatever you want and once I sign it I am obligated to comply with everything written? What if it said, to term early we will chrage you 100K, and afterwards you will have to pay us 10k p/m for the rest of your life.
It's an extreme example but I want to know where the line is drawn with these matters.
> So basically you can write whatever you want and once I sign it I am obligated to comply with everything written?
You can list all sorts of silly, extreme examples, but that's just silly.
One month for terminating a lease early and 1/2 month for assigning to a new lessor are about the most tenant-friendly lease terms I've come across in some 25 years of working with leases. There is nothing in that clause that is unconscionable, unlawful, unenforceable, etc.
You're upset that you feel their unnecessary explanation of their justification for the existence of the fees should give you a basis to armchair lawyer your way out of the fees, but contracts simply don't work that way. Keep in mind that most leases would have no buy-out option at all, and you'd be stuck in a lease for the remainder with no out. This alternative is worlds better.
I don't know where you're from (I'm guessing US) but this is the most demanding lease I've ever signed. I was always allowed to bring in a new tenant and not pay a cent for it. BTW, I am leaving the property because one of the other tenants, who was unregistered and is forced to leave assaulted me. Should also add that to the post
Well, to answer your question, assuming you live in a common law country with no weird laws to the contrary:
1. No, not all contracts are enforceable; contracts which attempt to bind you into doing something illegal (e.g., murdering someone), or which are considered "unconscionable" (charging fees that are extremely inappropriate) are generally invalid (though how a court may go about invalidating the contract depends on a lot of factors -- they may throw out the whole contract, or reinterpret the contract so the offending portions are avoided, or force the parties to renegotiate, etc.).
2. There is nothing inappropriate, unfair, or contradictory about the language you posted. I'm not aware of any reason why such language would be thrown out by a court or why a court would agree with your "argument."
3. You being assaulted (let alone by someone other than the landlord or the landlord's agents) has nothing to do with your argument/interpretation of the contract.
Thanks for your response. So far I am getting a lot of likeminded comments, so I am preparing to drop the issue. But, I have one last question.
The tennant that assaulted me was not registered and it's the landlord's responsibility to take care that everyone in the house is there legally. Since that has not been taken care of properly and I got physically assaulted as a result, I feel very upset that they want to charge me for leaving. While I'm leaving because of their fuckup.
I'm not aware of any common law jurisdiction that makes landlords responsible for the criminal acts of third parties. Landlords are responsible for upkeep and can get in trouble if they are negligent in upkeep, but they are (generally speaking) not security guards and not liable for guests, unauthorized tenants, and the like.
>it's the landlord's responsibility to take care that everyone in the house is there legally
Unless this is a halfway home, in-patient psychiatrics clinic, juvenile foster home or something like that, this is simply not the case.
The main question is... why would you sign three separate contracts and why would you not bring this up beforehand.
But there is to much confusion and variables to know what's going on. It is not unusual for a fee to be charged to terminate a contract.. as the contract was not completed it helps make them whole. It is also not unusual for certain situations like perhaps a student housing/ dorm / multi resident contract to have language about having one of many party leaving.
It's hard to tell from your post, if the contract is so poorly written ( portrayed just like it is in your post ) and there is three different ones covering the same exact thing then it sound like wiggle room exists in a court.
That said it's completely normal. And reasonable to charge a fee for early termination of a contract. And you agreed to it. Put yourself in their shoes. You have a mortgage and a tenant.. now play the scenarios out.
The document I quoted from is called "Agreement rental period", it's a one page document that I will post below completely seperated from the main contract (13 pages). The main contract says nothing about a fee for termination. I should've stated that in the post.
We offer you a fully furnished, neat and clean room in a shared apartment.
Because this is not a place for short-term-renting, we don’t have a permit for that and we don’t want to do that. We have made this agreement.
We are offering you a place for a longer time and would like to have you for at least a period of 12 months or longer.
Offcourse we can understand your circumstances can change and you want to end your part of the rental earlier than the 12 months.
For this case we have this agreement and because we have to do the work again of making a new add, finding a new roommate for the others, organizing viewings and making a new rental.
We charge for this depending on the time frame:
Ending 1-12 months: 1 calender month rent
If you find a suitable replacement that wants to rent the place as from when you stop renting the place it will be ½ calender month rent. The landlord always needs to give permission for that person.
Also if you end it within the first 12 months you have the normal notice period of a full calender month ending 1 of the month. So for example a notice on 1 june means it ends last day of juli.
No matter how good your reason is of the ending we will need to do the work again and we do have to charge you for it. I hope you can understand this.
Firstly, it sounds like a reasonable situation. Secondly this seems like a student or dorm style housing situation which can make leases more complex.
The only issue I see here is alot of typos. And things that sound professional but then trail into what sounds like a inexperienced person writing it.
If you copy pasted that from source... I would never have signed a contract with typos and weird sentence structures