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?
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