ISSUE:

The rent for the home was $1,200 per month.  There were four months remaining on the lease when the tenant breached the lease and moved back to Wisconsin.  The landlord is now advertising for a new tenant with a rent of $1,300 per month.  If the landlord does not find a new tenant, will the tenant who breached the lease be responsible for the remaining four months of the lease?

ANSWER:

Probably not.  If a tenant breaches the lease, the landlord is required to make “reasonable efforts” to mitigate the landlord’s damages by finding a new tenant.  “Reasonable efforts” would be trying to find a tenant to pay the original $1,200 per month rent, and not a higher rent of $1,300 per month.

Note:  “Reasonable efforts” could include newspaper advertising, distribution of fliers in the neighborhood, hiring a leasing broker and placement of “for rent” signs.

Arizona REALTOR® Magazine – July 2011


About the Author

Michelle Lind

K. Michelle Lind, CEO of Arizona REALTORS®, is also an attorney, State Bar of Arizona board certified real estate specialist, and the author of Arizona Real Estate: A Professional’s Guide to Law and Practice.
Please note that this article is of a general nature and may not be updated or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Further, this article reflects only the opinion of the author, is not intended as definitive legal advice and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.