Monday, April 21, 2014

Leaving town for the summer?

At last summer is upon us and winter relaxes its icy grip on our beloved city! For most students, this means a reprieve from the daily grind of classes and a chance to travel home or abroad. The transitory nature of summer break calls for a refresher on leases and subletting. Students leaving town for the summer need to be extra vigilant about the terms of their leases to avoid unpleasant surprises. Here are three scenarios that could arise during your time away:

1)   Sometimes a landlord may have need to enter the rental to make repairs, supply necessary or agreed services, or inspect the rental. It is the duty of the tenant to let the landlord onto the rental property when the landlord has a good reason.
·       Unless there is an emergency, the landlord must give you at least 24 hour’s notice of any plan to enter the rental and only during reasonable hours.
·       If you’ll be away for the summer, let your landlord know (most leases require you to do this anyhow)  and keep an eye out for any emails, voice mails, or texts from them about entering the rental.

2)   It is possible over the summer that your plans may change. A good friend may want to live with you or you adopt a pet and move somewhere pet friendly. What happens if you move out early?
·       Your rental agreement is a contract between you and the landlord and is usually for 12 months. If you move out or stop paying rent before the end of the rental agreement, you may still be responsible for all of the rent until the end of the rental agreement. This may be true even if you do not live there anymore.
·       If you move out early, the landlord must try to re-rent the rental at a fair price. You are responsible for the rent from the time you move out, until the time a new tenant moves in. If the landlord does not try to re-rent the rental at a fair price, the rental agreement ends on the day the landlord first had notice that you left the rental. Then, you are only responsible for rent for the time that you lived there.

 3)   In order to save money, you may wish to sublet your rental.
·       You must get written permission of the landlord. If you sublet the rental without the written permission of the landlord, you are violating your duties under the rental agreement. Your landlord can take you to court for violating your agreement.
·       Are your other roommates ok with having a stranger move in? Discuss this and agree on a plan before signing a year long lease.

Follow these tips to protect yourself and your peace of mind during the hazy days of summer! Above all, communication is key. Landlords and roommates will appreciate the courtesy of timely updates on your situation. For more information on this topic, visit the ASUM Off-Campus Renter Center website. 

Disclaimer:  The information found on this page are not that of an attorney.  Please contact ASUM Legal Services (if a student) or your attorney for legal advice.  The information found here is intended for educational purposes only and should be used for ones own pursuit of mitigating disputes

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