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Lease termination question


jazzytrav

I've got a bit of a screwy situation with (hopefully) the last rental I'll ever live in. My wife and I lived in a townhouse for three years. Our lease had an automatic annual renewal...lease ended May 31, new one started June 1. We are required to give a 45 day notice of intent to vacate.

 

So, we bought a house and set the closing date for June 13. On May 8, I called my landlord to inform him that our last day in the townhouse would be June 30, under the assumption this was my 45+ day notice. But apparently, if we don't inform him otherwise, our automatic lease renewal goes through May 1 (even though the lease doesn't end until May 31). So even though we hadn't even technically started our new lease, he says our automatic renewal has already gone through and we're locked in for another year.

 

At this point I'm fuming, but willing to work with him because I figured he could fill the place quickly. It took a little while, but I managed to pay rent+mortgage for a few months until he found a tenant in early August (I had already paid August rent). The problem is that that these new tenants are both working temporary jobs, so he didn't force them into a year lease...they're just month-to-month. He's worried that they'll leave in December when one of their temporary jobs expires.

 

I would think that the moment a new person signs a lease and moves in, our previous lease would be voided, but that's not how it seems to work with this guy, and I'm not really sure what the law is on that. Anyway, he just sent us a lease termination that includes him keeping our security deposit and August rent (total of about $1,000) in exchange for being let out of the lease and not being responsible if the new tenants bail after a few months. The other side of that, of course, is if they stay through the end of our original lease...he basically just won a $1,000 bet.

 

Do I have any recourse here, or do I just suck it up and consider the $1,000 a fair trade to get rid of him?

If I had Braun's pee in my fridge I'd tell everybody.

~Nottso

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Are you in Wisconsin?

 

If you are Wisconsin Statute 704.29 says that you are responsible for rent and advertising for the property until it is leased to someone else. When it is leased to someone else you are no longer responsible.

 

I'm sure it's probably like that in other states but I can't say for sure.

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I don't see how it's your fault he found people with temp jobs. You aren't subletting are you? If not then he can go pound sand I would say.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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Are you in Wisconsin?

 

If you are Wisconsin Statute 704.29 says that you are responsible for rent and advertising for the property until it is leased to someone else. When it is leased to someone else you are no longer responsible.

 

I'm sure it's probably like that in other states but I can't say for sure.

 

Someone mentioned the Wisconsin way book in a previous Landlord-Tenant thread, so I'll just link this here.

 

http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Consumer/pdf/WisconsinWayWEB.pdf

 

 

...and if you happen to come across the automatic renewal clause topic in the index (which I'm certainly not recommending that you do, since I'm not your lawyer and this isn't legal advice), then so be it.

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Lame, looks like I'm out of luck. This was the first time I've been in an "automatic renewal" situation. When I got the notice from him, I read it incorrectly...thinking I had until the end of the initial lease to give him my notice. At the time I was fully into house-buying mode and I guess I didn't read it all the way through correctly.

 

Thanks for the info guys. I'm just letting him keep it in exchange for the lease termination. In the long run, I guess $1,000 to get this guy off my back and my last rental out of my mind is fair enough.

If I had Braun's pee in my fridge I'd tell everybody.

~Nottso

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