Profile picture for mezzomix23

Renters obligation to pay remainder rent when moved out early and landlord has listed the house?

Hi,

We have decided to move out of our old house to be closer to my work and in a different neighborhood for the schools.

We have found an opportunity before the end of the lease. We decided to move out anyways, knowing that we will have to pay double rent until the end of the old lease.

In the meantime, the landlords have decided to list the house for sale, not for rent at all.

As this process can take time, and the house remain vacant, am I obliged to pay the remainder rent anyways, or the fact that the landlords are not willing to rent the house anymore frees me from that obligation?

Thank you
  • November 08 2013 - Saint Louis
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (11)

Profile picture for Bryan Young
I am a property owner and manager in St. Louis. You are in St. Louis. The place you are renting is in St. Louis. Please understand that your lease and Missouri Landlord Tenant Law are the only things that govern in this situation. It is irrelevant that the property is listed for sale, because in Missouri, your lease remains in effect past the sale. Unless Missouri Landlord Tenant Law prohibits a practice, then your lease will govern what you must do. If you are unsure what to do, contact a local attorney in Metro St. Louis who specializes in these types of cases. There really are only a handful lawyers who do this enough to know the answers. If you contact me directly, I would happy to connect you with one of them.
  • November 20 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Beth Traverso
Your lease will outline the consequences for breaking it. You can also check your state's landlord-tenant laws. It doesn't matter that the owners have decided to list the house. Presumably they have a mortgage that still needs to be paid, and now with no rent to offset it.
  • November 20 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for steveh100
When you signed the lease, the obligation to pay for the rent was within the guidelines of the lease. Ocassionally a landlord will let you out of the lease early without going after the remainder of the lease. My advice to you is to find someone to sublet the remainder of the lease with permission of the landlord. This way everyone wins. If you cant do that, then you may lose the balance of the money owed for your time and your security deposit as well. Every landlord is different. Nobody wants to go to court so see if you can work it out with them. And good luck.
  • November 19 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Bryan Young
YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY...This is the only advice that you should follow. The devil is in the details and the details include the specifics of your lease and Landlord Tenant Law in Missouri. This is a case where some information or looking it up on a website can only lead you to trouble. Follow your lease OR get an attorney specializing in real estate to give you advice. Period.
  • November 19 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

For our Lease we can only charge a Lease Break Fee and rent until the day you move out if the property is going to be listed for Sale vs Rent.
  • November 12 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
mezzomix23:

You are right, the rental laws are different where you come from and they vary state by state in the US. 

In most states, the landlord cannot change the lease terms (e.g. rent) during the lease, but only upon lease renewal.   Similarly, the tenant cannot change lease terms during the course of the lease.

Ability to sublease varies depending on the lease terms, you must get written approval from the landlord and you are still responsible.

Here's a link to the Missouri landlord/tenant guide.
  • November 08 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Would need to view a copy of your lease to be certain but I would assume you're on the hook for rent until the end of your lease agreement. You should really seek legal advice from an attorney though to be sure.

  • November 08 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for mezzomix23
Ok, so there is no Federal Law covering that situation and might be State by State basis instead.

I will dig more on the Missouri side of the question then.

I'm coming from a country where when a tenant terminates the lease earlier than the term, he has obligation to find a new tenant able to pay at the same conditions (race, religion, etc... are no factors for a valid refusal).

In case the landlord decides to change the lease conditions (ie: the rent amount), the renter has no more obligation to pay for the remainder rent at all. Same applies if he refuses the proposed replacement tenant, with valid reasons (no able to pay his debt for example).
  • November 08 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for CCarron
I'm not sure the previous answers are correct.  You may want to consult an attorney experienced in landlord-tenant law.  Your local or state bar association probably has a lawyer referral service and you may be able to get a quick telephone consultation for $50 or so.  If so, ask the attorney whether the landlord has an obligation to "mitigate damages" by searching for a replacement tenant, and whether the landlord's failure to do so relieves you of your obligation to pay the remaining rent
  • November 08 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
Yes, you are obliged to the terms of your lease ( a legal document).  The landlord's change in use of the property doesn't negate your lease.  

How many months early did you move out?   If more than 3 or 4, then I'd try to negotiate with the landlord. In most states (I don't know Missouri), the landlord needs to show reasonable efforts to attempt to rerent the place, and putting it on the market suggests that isn't his intent.

  • November 08 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Of course you are obligated to pay the rent agreed to in your lease. The owner did not force you to leave, so they are perfectly in their rights to rent it or sell it.
  • November 08 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.