If I give notice, is it still abandonment? (lease law)
April 24, 2013 12:37 PM Subscribe
YANML. If I give notice of early termination of a lease, can the landlord still count it as abandonment and force me to pay rent for the remainder of the lease term?
posted by pdq to Law & Government (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Say you have a 10 month lease, and after 6 1/2 months you tell the landlord that you will not be needing the apartment for months 9 and 10 (you're moving out mid way through month 8). My understanding of this situation had been that the person in the story (myself) is liable for rent through month 8, and that they lose their security deposit for breaking the lease, but that's the end of it.
Upon telling my landlord that I would like to move out early and break the lease, she told me that what I was planning would require that I pay out the rent for the remainder of the lease (months 8, 9, 10) and lose the security deposit. I was at first puzzled, but upon looking at the lease I realized that there was a proviso for abandonment. I'm in Indianapolis, but haven't been able to find Indiana definitions of abandonment. Other states' laws that I've been able to find have been vague, but usually suggest that abandonment is defined as, well, abandoning the property without notice, which is not what I'm doing.
Am I forced to pay out the lease (presumably I would just pay rent while not living here so I can get the deposit back instead of forfeiting that) or can I dispute whether it is technically a case of abandoning the property?