« Most leases have this provision, you`re responsible for everything, » said Eileen Kendall, a Torrance real estate lawyer who represents property managers. The fee runs the scale from a $500 to a month`s rent, lawyers said. Often, you have to waive your deposit that the landlord applies to the rent. Unfortunately, in most leases, there is no such provision. « If a tenant calls their landlord and explains that they have lost their job and can`t pay rent and ask to move prematurely, landlords would be wise to fire them because they are not able to impose evictions, » Davis says. « The landlord can sign a new lease with a salaried tenant. » In general, it can be difficult and expensive to break a lease. Tenants are generally responsible for paying rent until their lease is concluded – so if you are on a one-year lease for three months, you should pay rent for the remaining nine months. And the same laws still apply today: if you terminate a lease prematurely, even in the era of COVID-19, you are still responsible for your rent until the deadline in your contract. Your lease has a « force majeure » clause. Force majeure clauses are extremely rare for leases.
They are more common in commercial leases. If your lease contains a force majeure clause, it should probably list a pandemic as one of the reasons for triggering the clause. Check your lease to see if there is a provision that allows for early termination. Some leases, but not most, have a provision that allows termination if the tenant agrees to pay a fee that is probably less than the balance payment. Negotiate with your landlord. With a few exceptions, California law requires a tenant to pay rent until the end of the tenancy period. You can try to negotiate with your landlord to relieve yourself of the burden of paying rent, although your landlord may not be open to early termination, as landlords expect rent to pay mortgage taxes, insurance taxes and property taxes on their property. If you are negotiating with your landlord, be respectful and reasonable. Being angry, rude or belligerent is not a profit technique.
Explain your situation calmly and thoroughly and explore all options that the owner is willing to consider. You can ask if the landlord would be willing to reduce the rent, even if he is not ready to terminate the lease. If the landlord agrees to change the terms of the lease, you must receive them in writing. An agreement made by email, text or social media is a practical alternative if the signed letter is not possible, but be sure to store it so that it can be easily accessed if the owner withdraws from the agreement. Make an agreement with your landlord to honour outstanding rents that are not covered by grant assistance; To apply, contact CSA by email under [email protected] or call (650) 968-0836 to leave a voicemail.