What am I on the hook for after breaking my apartment lease in Seattle?
October 16, 2013 11:02 AM Subscribe
I recently moved cross country, and had to break my apartment lease 3 months early in order to do so. I gave my landlords a month and a half notice, and they immediately began showing my place. When the time came for me to turn in my keys, I told them the date of my departure and gave them my forwarding address, and in their reply (via email), they did not indicate that they had not leased my apartment yet (otherwise I would have left an additional check for the month of October). Today I received a bill from them for the remainder of the rent on the lease, plus additional cleaning fees that were not subtracted from my deposit. The bill indicates that my deposit has been forfeited as well. I'm finding the whole thing a bit fishy though, because Craigslist does not indicate that my apartment is for rent (that's how I found the place initially), and they waited to SNAIL MAIL this bill until October 11th, when the rent was due on October 5th (they also have my email and phone number). As it stands, if I am on the hook, I will have to call them regardless, because a mailed check will not make it back to them by "within 7 days of the date of this notice (October 11th)". What can I do to address this situation?
posted by pianohands to law & government (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1. My lease says nothing about my deposit being "forfeit" if I break the lease. I would assume that if, god forbid, I have to keep paying monthly, that in December, I should get my deposit back since I paid for the entire amount of the lease.
2. I have already looked through the Renter's guide for Seattle, so I understand that I'm at a disadvantage in terms of legal power (I was prepared for the possibility that I would have to continue paying rent, but now I have no way of knowing if they actually leased the place and are still charging me).
3. I cannot sublet. The lease prohibits it.
4. I still have friends in Seattle. I can potentially ask one of them to pick up "my" keys if I'm still "renting".