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Old 07-21-2012, 05:40 AM
 
3,342 posts, read 3,312,445 times
Reputation: 1309
Default Florida law? (breaking lease before even moving in)

Had signed a short 6 month lease just last week. Luxury home rental. I offered to prepay $22k cash for 6 months plus $4000 security desposit.

We are selling our home and wife was picky about our living conditions.

Anyways decided to buy another home cause homeowner offered his home directly to us at a $40k below market value discount (since he avoids realtor fees also). So win win...

So asked landlord if I could break lease and I will just lose $4000 security desposit.

Landlord said because he took home off market 3 weeks ago and missed prime renting season for new families with pending school year in 3 weeks. He wanted 2 months plus security desposit. So total of $11k

Yes I read the lease. In Florida there are 2 boxes in early termination box.

Box 1 says landlord will agree to no more than 2 months rents as liquidated damages.

Box 2 says landlord does not agree to liquidated damages as early termination agreement and can sue to the extent of the law. (attorney language they can sue me for rest of lease).

My wife was arguing I shouldnt pay. I had upped my offer to $7500 to break lease before moving in. One month rent plus $4000 security deposit.

They wouldn't budge.

I ended up just paying the $11k and got a letter from them waiving me and them from further ligation to end lease before it started.

Was I right? Yes I did consult an attorney on this matter. He said I could fight it. Retainer fee was $1500 for him. Got 2nd attorney opinion and he said because of my high income they would try to sue me for entire 6 months plus court costs so getting off on 1/2 the lease best of my bad situation.

He did say if they rented it out soon I could potentially try to get out some of the money back. But the landlords are in no obligation to hurry up and find tenants and could just sit still.

This wasn't a nasty argument between landlords/homeowners and us. He was going to rent it out for even more money and 12 month lease to another family but wasn't crazy about other family having pets and he just move all their belongings to their new home.

I understand their reasoning for demanding getting at least half of the lease. My wife is upset and thinks they are greedy. But I had to explain to her the contract is a contract.

Of course if we had no money or little income we could have just bailed on them.

What do you guys think Would you have fought it? I got 2 opinions from 2 different attorneys already. It's done. I paid $11k to terminate. But you always second guess yourself on these matters.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:50 AM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
16,344 posts, read 18,905,814 times
Reputation: 13192
Quote:
Originally Posted by aneftp View Post
...and wife was picky about our living conditions.
Anyways decided to buy another home cause...

So asked landlord if...
Landlord said...
I hope this be the last RE soap opera you folks go through for a while.
All these change ups have cost you a small fortune.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:59 AM
 
4,932 posts, read 4,322,433 times
Reputation: 4923
The 2 choices on the lease...which did you choose? You are supposed to check off one of the 2 checkboxes.

If you chose the 2 months(early termination fee) in the check box, then you only owe the 2 months and would be due back the security deposit.

If you chose the other checkbox( tenant pays rent until re-leased), then you are pretty much stuck and paying 3 months is probably not bad overall.

See if there is any way you can deduct the $11k on taxes. Maybe a moving expense if you moved a certain distance for a job. or a loss of some sort.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:36 PM
 
3,342 posts, read 3,312,445 times
Reputation: 1309
Quote:
Originally Posted by sware2cod View Post
The 2 choices on the lease...which did you choose? You are supposed to check off one of the 2 checkboxes.

If you chose the 2 months(early termination fee) in the check box, then you only owe the 2 months and would be due back the security deposit.

If you chose the other checkbox( tenant pays rent until re-leased), then you are pretty much stuck and paying 3 months is probably not bad overall.

See if there is any way you can deduct the $11k on taxes. Maybe a moving expense if you moved a certain distance for a job. or a loss of some sort.
Yeah. It was such a short term lease I knew what I was signing. I am showing these replies to my wife so she understands the law. I take care of all the business in the family. I know the laws. 3 months termination settlement is best we could get like you said. I had 2 lawyers say two different things about the law. If I fight it and lose, than I lose even more than $11k. Could lose another $10k plus attorney costs.

I have my own business so can deduct the losses as a temporary moving expense. (since I will own another primary home). That blunts 33% of the lost.

A little bit of luck this morning. I am moving into new home I am buying today. Current homeowner is mutual friends with another couple we know. He's being super cool cause instead of rushing and moving all in one day (July 30th is closing of the sell of our current home). He's letting us "rent the home for 4 weeks" before closing and deducting $3000 off the final sales price. The home is empty. So it's still a win win for both. He's generating "rent income" and we get to move into new home 3-4 weeks early instead of staying in a hotel while then deal closes.
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:45 PM
 
2,043 posts, read 2,727,233 times
Reputation: 2597
Question curious...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aneftp View Post
Had signed a short 6 month lease just last week. Luxury home rental. I offered to prepay $22k cash for 6 months plus $4000 security desposit.

We are selling our home and wife was picky about our living conditions.

Anyways decided to buy another home cause homeowner offered his home directly to us at a $40k below market value discount (since he avoids realtor fees also). So win win...

So asked landlord if I could break lease and I will just lose $4000 security desposit.

Landlord said because he took home off market 3 weeks ago and missed prime renting season for new families with pending school year in 3 weeks. He wanted 2 months plus security desposit. So total of $11k

Yes I read the lease. In Florida there are 2 boxes in early termination box.

Box 1 says landlord will agree to no more than 2 months rents as liquidated damages.

Box 2 says landlord does not agree to liquidated damages as early termination agreement and can sue to the extent of the law. (attorney language they can sue me for rest of lease).

My wife was arguing I shouldnt pay. I had upped my offer to $7500 to break lease before moving in. One month rent plus $4000 security deposit.

They wouldn't budge.

I ended up just paying the $11k and got a letter from them waiving me and them from further ligation to end lease before it started.

Was I right? Yes I did consult an attorney on this matter. He said I could fight it. Retainer fee was $1500 for him. Got 2nd attorney opinion and he said because of my high income they would try to sue me for entire 6 months plus court costs so getting off on 1/2 the lease best of my bad situation.

He did say if they rented it out soon I could potentially try to get out some of the money back. But the landlords are in no obligation to hurry up and find tenants and could just sit still.

This wasn't a nasty argument between landlords/homeowners and us. He was going to rent it out for even more money and 12 month lease to another family but wasn't crazy about other family having pets and he just move all their belongings to their new home.

I understand their reasoning for demanding getting at least half of the lease. My wife is upset and thinks they are greedy. But I had to explain to her the contract is a contract.

Of course if we had no money or little income we could have just bailed on them.
What do you guys think Would you have fought it? I got 2 opinions from 2 different attorneys already. It's done. I paid $11k to terminate. But you always second guess yourself on these matters.
How do you figure the bolded comment? Because you say you 'have money' you have more integrity than others? Doesn't sound like your wife has much integrity...if she didn't want to pay the contract that was signed.
Koale
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:14 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,580 posts, read 18,148,870 times
Reputation: 15314
Put it like this to your wife. What if a customer of your business tried to get out of a contractual agreement and you tried to collect. Would your wife think you were greedy for doing so?
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:00 AM
 
4,398 posts, read 4,825,970 times
Reputation: 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by aneftp View Post
Had signed a short 6 month lease just last week. Luxury home rental. I offered to prepay $22k cash for 6 months plus $4000 security desposit.

We are selling our home and wife was picky about our living conditions.

Anyways decided to buy another home cause homeowner offered his home directly to us at a $40k below market value discount (since he avoids realtor fees also). So win win...

So asked landlord if I could break lease and I will just lose $4000 security desposit.

Landlord said because he took home off market 3 weeks ago and missed prime renting season for new families with pending school year in 3 weeks. He wanted 2 months plus security desposit. So total of $11k

Yes I read the lease. In Florida there are 2 boxes in early termination box.

Box 1 says landlord will agree to no more than 2 months rents as liquidated damages.

Box 2 says landlord does not agree to liquidated damages as early termination agreement and can sue to the extent of the law. (attorney language they can sue me for rest of lease).

My wife was arguing I shouldnt pay. I had upped my offer to $7500 to break lease before moving in. One month rent plus $4000 security deposit.

They wouldn't budge.

I ended up just paying the $11k and got a letter from them waiving me and them from further ligation to end lease before it started.

Was I right? Yes I did consult an attorney on this matter. He said I could fight it. Retainer fee was $1500 for him. Got 2nd attorney opinion and he said because of my high income they would try to sue me for entire 6 months plus court costs so getting off on 1/2 the lease best of my bad situation.

He did say if they rented it out soon I could potentially try to get out some of the money back. But the landlords are in no obligation to hurry up and find tenants and could just sit still.

This wasn't a nasty argument between landlords/homeowners and us. He was going to rent it out for even more money and 12 month lease to another family but wasn't crazy about other family having pets and he just move all their belongings to their new home.

I understand their reasoning for demanding getting at least half of the lease. My wife is upset and thinks they are greedy. But I had to explain to her the contract is a contract.

Of course if we had no money or little income we could have just bailed on them.

What do you guys think Would you have fought it? I got 2 opinions from 2 different attorneys already. It's done. I paid $11k to terminate. But you always second guess yourself on these matters.
And you'd be finding yourself in court facing a judgement. Wouldn't be fun?

And I doubt those two attorneys would be so quick with advice then.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:54 PM
 
3,342 posts, read 3,312,445 times
Reputation: 1309
Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
Put it like this to your wife. What if a customer of your business tried to get out of a contractual agreement and you tried to collect. Would your wife think you were greedy for doing so?
100% agree. That's what i told my wife. I asked her how would she feel if the shoe were on the other foot.

Than again, everyone values money different. For instance, when I was the landlord, my tenants up in Maryland. The husband lost his job. Brutally honest with me and I let them out of their lease without any penalties and even refunded them their $3000 security deposit within 5 days of them moving out. I wasn't obligated to do that but I did. I could have gone after them for the remaining months on the lease.
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:00 PM
 
3,342 posts, read 3,312,445 times
Reputation: 1309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koale View Post
How do you figure the bolded comment? Because you say you 'have money' you have more integrity than others? Doesn't sound like your wife has much integrity...if she didn't want to pay the contract that was signed.
Koale
It all comes down to assets and income level when dealing with civil matters. I'm sorry but most landlords do not go after tenants when the risk/reward heavily favors the tenants. If tenants had no assets and skipped out on the last couple of months rents, the chances of landlord collecting are slim to none with added court costs.

It doesn't have to do with integrity. It has to do with the ability to collect monies from judgement. That's why someone even in a judicial foreclosure state "walks away" from their mortgage when they have no assets and those with assets think twice before walking away.

Same thing applies to my rental situation.

Integrity goes out the window when it comes to civil matters and monies being owed. How many landlords try to collect 11-22K rents on someone who probably doesn't have that money? The answer is obvious. How many landlords sue to collect 11-22K to collect from someone who they know has assets. That answer is also obvious.

Why do you think poor murderers never get sued in civil courts while well off murderer (say OJ Simpson) get sued and hit with a 33 million dollar judgment?
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:00 PM
 
13,114 posts, read 23,395,010 times
Reputation: 7373
Remember City-Data is not a forum offering legal advice.

It would seem you acted prudently posing your question to council...

Most options have trade-offs... time/effort/money vs possible return.

A very highly respected orthopedic surgeon asked my advice regarding a San Francisco Tenant that left owing rent and damages...

My advice to the Doctor was his time was more valuable as a Doctor then going after someone in Small Claims.

He listened and said he was going ahead based on the principal because of the way he was treated.

His tenant had shares in a Tech Start-Up... so he did have money.

Anyway, the Doc took his case to court and won... the guy refused to pay and the next step was asset disclosure... in the meantime, the guy decides he wants to buy a home now that his net worth increased 10 fold... only problem... the judgement is causing problems getting the home... so he ends up paying it in full, plus court cost and interest.

If the Doc would have listened to me... the former tenant would have got off paying zero...
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