Real Estate

Breaking 1 year lease after 8 months... do landlords actually sue over this?

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  • Jun 20th, 2019 9:58 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Aug 15, 2003
8339 posts
193 upvotes
Toronto

Breaking 1 year lease after 8 months... do landlords actually sue over this?

How likely is it for landlords to actually sue tenants who want to leave before their 1 year lease is up?? To all the landlords here - is this something you would actually pursuit in small claims court for a couple thousand dollars??

Reason: I am thinking of getting my own place soon.

I'm going to bring this topic up with my landlord soon. I'm willing to sublet or help them with the backfill if they let me, but I'm not going to pay rent plus mortgage!
Looking for a 1BR to rent for June or July 1. Prefer Beaches, East York, Leslieville, Riverdale, Corktown areas. Prefer to be near TTC/Danforth subway. Willing to take on roommate. Let's talk!

Heatware reviews since 2003 LOL 😃
17 replies
Deal Addict
May 12, 2014
2321 posts
1868 upvotes
Montreal
MtX wrote: How likely is it ...
Reason: I am thinking of getting my own place soon.
Very likely. You will have a house: ie, assets, and you can't run away. And in the end you'll have to pay.
Sr. Member
Jul 8, 2006
621 posts
23 upvotes
Burlington
I have never sued a tenant over this. As long as the tenant gives me 60 days notice, I am fine with it.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10504 posts
6777 upvotes
Edmonton
Assuming you're in GTA, since that's the center of the universe and all...

First off, you want to assign, not sublet. They're different. Sublet means you are still on the lease, but someone else is taking it over for a period of time. You will be taking the lease back over once they're gone. Assign means the whole thing gets assigned to the other person, and you'll never be involved again.

Second, if the landlord refuses to allow you to assign, it actually works in your favor, as you can then break your lease with 30 days notice.
http://www.ontariotenants.ca/law/act06.phtml

If you're not in Ontario, post a location.

C
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Aug 15, 2003
8339 posts
193 upvotes
Toronto
FrancisBacon wrote: Very likely. You will have a house: ie, assets, and you can't run away. And in the end you'll have to pay.
How much are legal fees? Am I paying for the landlord's legal fees too if I lose?
particleman wrote: I have never sued a tenant over this. As long as the tenant gives me 60 days notice, I am fine with it.
This is what I understood as well, since the agreement states "either party can give 60 days notice". Seems to me like everything is in the landlord's favour if landlord can kick me out at anytime for similar reasons (renovating, family moving in) before the 12 months up.....
CNeufeld wrote: Assuming you're in GTA, since that's the center of the universe and all...

First off, you want to assign, not sublet. They're different. Sublet means you are still on the lease, but someone else is taking it over for a period of time. You will be taking the lease back over once they're gone. Assign means the whole thing gets assigned to the other person, and you'll never be involved again.

Second, if the landlord refuses to allow you to assign, it actually works in your favor, as you can then break your lease with 30 days notice.
http://www.ontariotenants.ca/law/act06.phtml

If you're not in Ontario, post a location.

C
I was reading that too. But what good is that if the landlord has the right to "refuse consent to the assignment of the rental unit". They can keep playing the delay game for months and refuse all the candidates that I've selected? Then what. In the meantime I am still on the hook for monthly rent.
Looking for a 1BR to rent for June or July 1. Prefer Beaches, East York, Leslieville, Riverdale, Corktown areas. Prefer to be near TTC/Danforth subway. Willing to take on roommate. Let's talk!

Heatware reviews since 2003 LOL 😃
Member
Oct 21, 2013
214 posts
80 upvotes
waterloo, on
if the tenant find me a replacement or if i am able to find someone soon, then i don't bother.
Royal LePage Realtor
Serving Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge/Elmira/Guelph and surrounding cities
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 8, 2010
1260 posts
970 upvotes
Ontario
MtX wrote: Reason: I am thinking of getting my own place soon.
How soon is soon? If you don't have yet an accepted offer, you can play with closure date so you don't have to pay twice or pay penalties. Are the 8 months gone when you plan to have closure on new property? Are the 8 months now?

Anyway, first have the discussion with your landlord and see how open s/he is.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
10504 posts
6777 upvotes
Edmonton
MtX wrote: How much are legal fees? Am I paying for the landlord's legal fees too if I lose?



This is what I understood as well, since the agreement states "either party can give 60 days notice". Seems to me like everything is in the landlord's favour if landlord can kick me out at anytime for similar reasons (renovating, family moving in) before the 12 months up.....



I was reading that too. But what good is that if the landlord has the right to "refuse consent to the assignment of the rental unit". They can keep playing the delay game for months and refuse all the candidates that I've selected? Then what. In the meantime I am still on the hook for monthly rent.
You're not reading it properly, then.

Step 1, ask your landlord for permission to assign your lease (in general). If they refuse, or don't respond in 7 days, you're free to give them an N9 form (Notice to Terminate Lease) with 30 days notice (minimum).

If they say yes, then go to step 2, which is to find a candidate. When you have a candidate, ask them to approve this person as your assignee. Again, if they say no or don't answer in 7 days, you're free to give them the N9 form with 30 days notice.

The landlord is free to say no. But then that's your "get out of jail free" card. If you cared, you could ask for a hearing, etc. and try to force the landlord to allow you to assign or accept a particular tenant, but in this case, who cares? Let them say no, and then just terminate the lease.

C
Deal Addict
Sep 12, 2006
1482 posts
410 upvotes
Have you already purchased your own property? If not, why don't you wait to see when your closing will be? You don't buy a place and move in the next day, closings are usually delayed a couple of months...
Deal Fanatic
Jul 3, 2011
5623 posts
2804 upvotes
Thornhill
You have 4 months to ago.

You can't expect to find the right property immediately and even if you do, a 4 mionth closing is not out of the realm of possibility.

If by the time only 2 months are left and you haven't yet bought a place, let it revert to a month to month tenancy which means the maximum closing delay you would need is 89 days.
MtX wrote: How likely is it for landlords to actually sue tenants who want to leave before their 1 year lease is up?? To all the landlords here - is this something you would actually pursuit in small claims court for a couple thousand dollars??

Reason: I am thinking of getting my own place soon.

I'm going to bring this topic up with my landlord soon. I'm willing to sublet or help them with the backfill if they let me, but I'm not going to pay rent plus mortgage!
Jr. Member
Oct 6, 2015
145 posts
69 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Very simple. If you are leaving before end of term, you have an obligation to assign the lease, if the landlord chooses not to accept then you are released from that obligation. As a landlord, I will file a claim even for 1 month.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 23, 2003
7954 posts
1524 upvotes
i left a 12 month lease after 10 months...but i gave him 3.5 months worth of heads up...basically as soon as it was set in stone on my end.

Also helped him find a replacement for me by allowing visitations in my last month there, its not like there's a shortage of renters, so that's no problem.

He managed to up the rent by $50 more per month as well.

You could also run into a landlord who doesnt want to deal with it and would rather file the claim, which, doesnt make any sense since they'd be losing money until they recover it through the courts, assuming they're ever able to. Also they risk having the tenant retaliate and damage the property or run stuff like AirBnB out of it for the last 1-2 months of the lease. A landlord who's running a business will be malleable if you offer to work with him/her, and give them a heads up multiple months ahead of time, so its no surprise.

You have to think about things from a landlord's perspective. If you help them, they'll help you.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
6928 posts
4093 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
The odds are, by the time you find a place to buy and actually close on it your year would be up anyways if you are already at 8 months. It isn't unusual to have closing a couple months in the future. I doubt if your landlord would bother going to court if you are only going to be short 1 month for example. Do give them proper 60 day notice though once you buy a place.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 14, 2008
8237 posts
1838 upvotes
Ontario
As a landlord, I wouldn’t bother. And I certainly wouldn’t put the onus on you finding another tenant. I’d rather do that myself.

I would appreciate the courtesy of providing as much time as possible in advance, but it’s pretty easy to find tenants these days.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2007
6646 posts
2938 upvotes
I broke a lease after 11 months into a 12 month lease giving the proper notice and everything. The landlord was one of the biggest developers in the GVR and took a very hard stand with me as the lease breaking fee was a full months rent. I went to the Residential Tenancy Branch and won. The arbitrator said that just because the landlord makes you sign a contract that says you will give them your brother if you break the lease, it doesn't mean it is enforceable. They suffered no damages and I was off the hook. The developer continues to turn Vancouver into "Pottersville" but it was a good life lesson learned back as my first rental experience.

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