Lease Termination Fees In California

GetOut

LoanSafe Member
May 3, 2013
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16
Hi,

Our lease is up for renewal and the landlord has added in a lease termination fees clause of almost $5000 in addition to a month's notice of intent to move out.

This appears to be a very profitable venture for the landlord as he gets his notice AND gets to keep 2 months' rent as compensation for his "inconvenience" in having us break our lease.

Does state law provide a limit on what amounts may be charged as "lease termination fees" or are we out of luck ?
 

Moe Bedard

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Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Aug 10, 2007
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Southern California
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Hello,

My understanding is that it is fully negotiable and there is now law stating a limit. I could not find any law setting a limit. Only for termination for non-payment and even then, there is no monetary figure. I assume by signing the lease agreement, you agree to such damages. Yes, that seems quite high, but based on my experience, 1-2 months is the average.

You should just do a quick free consult with a lawyer in your area and see what they say as well.
 

Elsker-meg

LoanSafe Member
Feb 4, 2014
56
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Hi All,

I am wondering if anyone would know how difficult it is to find a decent home to rent after you've faced foreclosure? As of yet, they have not foreclosed upon us, we are just waiting for them to. I am not sure IF the bank would consider renting it back to us would anyone know if this is feasible??? I am at my wits end over this scenario that I am going through.
 

Jeffrey L. Shurtliff

LoanSafe Member
Dec 4, 2010
3,806
137
63
Hi All,

I am wondering if anyone would know how difficult it is to find a decent home to rent after you've faced foreclosure? As of yet, they have not foreclosed upon us, we are just waiting for them to. I am not sure IF the bank would consider renting it back to us would anyone know if this is feasible??? I am at my wits end over this scenario that I am going through.
Sometimes the bank will rent a home back to you. There are other adventurists of real estate that will step in and buy your home and rent it back to you. The homes for rent in my area are there but rent is fairly high. I rented a home right after foreclosure and have been there for four years. Homes for rent here go fast. I am in Utah. Make sure the home you rent is not in foreclosure. I would stay as long as you can in the home until they foreclose and want you out.
 

bankwhipped

LoanSafe Member
Apr 11, 2011
161
8
18
Florida
Hi,

Our lease is up for renewal and the landlord has added in a lease termination fees clause of almost $5000 in addition to a month's notice of intent to move out.

This appears to be a very profitable venture for the landlord as he gets his notice AND gets to keep 2 months' rent as compensation for his "inconvenience" in having us break our lease.

Does state law provide a limit on what amounts may be charged as "lease termination fees" or are we out of luck ?
I do not know California's laws but in most if not all states, if you have a lease and break it without a termination clause, the landlord can sue you and get a judgement for the balance of
the lease.

When a tenant vacates a rental, a landlord has various expenses in getting a unit rented again.
In almost all cases, he will have a minimum of 1 month of the unit been vacant, in addition, he will have cleaning exp., maybe painting, repairs, advertising, utility deposits and expenses, time taken out of their day job to show, interview, run credit checks etc., you do that a couple of times a year and 2 months rent doesn't always cover their added expense of someone breaking a lease.
A lease is a contract and is used to benefit both parties, a landlord can't evict you without cause and a tenant shouldn't be able to break a lease without cause, if that were so, when rents go up landlords would evict you so that they could rent it out for more money.
Even though they have a 30 day notice, it is not always possible to get the unit rented
effective on your move out date, it is very difficult to rent and show when the unit is occupied.
Although you may be willing to let the landlord go into your house at various times throughout your last month to show the unit to prospective tenants, most people are not ok with that, in addition, maybe they are not the cleanest people or they may bad mouth the unit or the landlord, or they have dogs etc.
The tenants that want to move in right away are usually not the best, wouldn't they need to give a 30 day notice?, are they been evicted? why haven't they been able to find a place willing to rent to them that they need the place right away? are they skipping out on the rent?

Most landlords are understanding if you have to break a lease for a good reason and are willing to work with them in getting it rented, but if you want to break it because you don't like it, that is not their fault, they didn't twist your arm and the clause is there to protect them from tenants that don't take the lease seriously.
If you are renewing, the clause is probably not going to be an issue for you, you already know you are comfortable there and will probably not have to break your lease, if you do for good reason, the landlord will take into consideration that you have been there for over a year and you will probably be able to work around the clause by helping him show it & getting it rented.