Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: I’m a college student and was renting a room in a 3 bedroom apartment during the semester. My lease ends June 30th, but with COVID, I was out of work and had to move back home. I haven’t been at the apartment since probably the middle of February. I turned my keys in and gave 60 days notice/ lease termination contract. I can’t file for hardship due to unemployment because my parents are guarantors. I understand I might have to finish paying my rent (leasing agreement) but is there anything I can do since I have not been there in over 4 months? I had to move back home (Flagstaff to Mesa)

Answer: As a general rule, a renter’s options in this type of situation depend on what the original rental agreement says, or what the lease termination agreement says, if a renter who wants to move out signs a lease termination agreement. For example, if the rental agreement or the lease termination agreement says that the renter can end their lease early by paying an early termination fee to the landlord, then the landlord must allow the renter to end their lease early if the renter pays the fee. Most landlords who rent rooms to students use rental agreements that say exactly what will or can happen if a renter wants to end their lease early. However, if the rental agreement says nothing about what will or can happen if the renter wants to end their lease early, then the landlord ordinarily has a duty to “mitigate” (reduce) the renter’s financial losses by doing their best to re-rent the apartment (or room) to someone else as soon as the original renter moves out, returns their keys, and lets the landlord know (A.R.S. § 33-1305(A)). If this happens, the original renter must keep paying their rent, but only until a new renter moves in.

QUESTIONS

  • I’m a college student and was renting a room in a 3 bedroom apartment during the semester. My lease ends June 30th, but with COVID, I was out of work and had to move back home. I haven’t been at the apartment since probably the middle of February. I turned my keys in and gave 60 days notice/ lease termination contract. I can’t file for hardship due to unemployment because my parents are guarantors. I understand I might have to finish paying my rent (leasing agreement) but is there anything I can do since I have not been there in over 4 months? I had to move back home (Flagstaff to Mesa)

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