Can I ask for compensation if my landlord wants me to break my lease early to get a tenant in who will pay more? 41 Answers as of May 29, 2013

I lease a store front. My landlord is asking me to leave my lease early because he has a business that wants to lease my space for two to three times the amount. It may benefit me to do this even though I have 9 months left on my lease and I have been here for 15 years.

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Slotnick & Schwartz
Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
You can ask for anything you want. He cannot force you to leave early so it is a matter of what benefits you and how much he wants to pay you to get the new tenant in.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/15/2012
Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
As long as you have not violated your lease and are up to date on your monthly rent payments, the landlord cannot force you to give up your lease early. Thus, you certainly can ask him for some compensation in exchange for giving up your lease early. You should consult with an attorney about what compensation is fair under the circumstances.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/15/2012
Merrick Law Office | N. Munro Merrick
The simple answer is, Yes. You have an asset he wants to buy, your right to possession. So the question is, how much. Try to compute what the landlord is going to gain over the period remaining on your lease. Target: 50% of that total. But first ask him what he is willing to pay. You have the cards!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Office of Bijal Jani | Bijal Jani
Yes, in your negotiations with the landlord, you may ask for consideration so that you can terminate your existing lease.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/15/2012
Goodgame Law, LLC
Goodgame Law, LLC | Jeffrey L Goodgame
The landlord is bound by the terms of the lease. You should consult a property lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/15/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    A lease is a contract and you have the right to enjoy the benefits of the contract. In other words, the landlord cannot kick you out until the end of the lease as long as you comply with all the terms and conditions of the lease.

    That being said, there are certain costs associated with relocation and it would be reasonable to ask your landlord for compensation in return for you leaving the leased premises early.

    If it is a lucrative deal for the landlord to get a new tenant in, he/she should be willing to compensate you to some degree.

    The amount of compensation would be something you would have to negotiate with the landlord. Once the negotiation is complete, a written agreement should be prepared setting forth the terms of the agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Just don't go.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes you can re-negotiate.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Jeffre Crandall, Attorney at Law | Jeffre Crandall
    It depends on the written document of your lease. No lease, or month to month, yes he can.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    If your landlord is willing to buy out your lease and you are willing to accept his payment and move out, this is fine.

    However, I would suggest that you contact an attorney to review everything and draw up the necessary documents outlining the agreement between you and your landlord to protect you from any future problems.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    You can negotiate an early termination if you wish. You should consult a real estate attorney to assist you in the negotiations and the determination of what appropriate compensation would be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    The first question is whether you want out now. If not, and really do this anyway, negotiate a buy-out.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    You can always ask for additional compensation so your landlord can get a higher paying tenant in the premises. The question is how much is the landlord willing to pay you. There is some amount where the two of you will agree. Also, try getting the landlord to help you with the move and also giving you a good reference. Also discuss the condition of the premises that you are to leave it in. Do you need to make repairs or bring it up to code? Or is the new tenant going to come in and do substantial build out? These are all negotiable with the landlord.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Castro, Rivera & Associates | Sandra Rivera
    If you have a lease he can't make you leave unless your lease terms allow it which I doubt. However, you're in a good position to negotiate some things if he wants you to do something you're not legally obligated to do. Whatever you agree to make sure it's in writing and that it clearly states the existing lease is null and void and that you will not be responsible for rent beyond the date the agreement is signed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Taylor Law Office L.L.C.
    The Taylor Law Office L.L.C. | Ian A. Taylor
    A lease is like any other contract and can be modified. there are some complexities to a lease. To protect yourself, I recommend seein a local attorney to review any offer by the LL. You would likely want the final agreement in writing. Since you know the details of the LL situation, you may be in a better position to negotiate terms to get out of the lease.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Park Law Offices LLC | Kevin Parks
    You can, and should. They're indicating that they'd like to breach your contract, and this you should likely have an attorney assist you who can evaluate your claims and assist you in negotiating a fair settlement that adequately compensates you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Lisa L. Hogreve, LC | Lisa L. Hogreve
    Yes you can ask to be compensated to give up your rights to the property early.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Bustos & Associates
    Bustos & Associates | Pablo E. Bustos
    Absolutely. If you have a valid lease, you are entitled to stay until the end of the lease, and in some cases, such as if the rental unit is rent stabilized, you are entitled to a renewal of the lease with an increase in accordance with NYC Rent Stabilization Laws. So yes, if your landlord asks you to leave prematurely, you do not have to even entertain what he has to say. You don't even have to speak to him. If you do choose to speak to him, then you absolutely have a right to ask him for compensation to terminate your lease early.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2012
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    Your lease is good until it expires. That having been said as along as you comply with its terms there is no basis to terminate it early. You can negotiate with the LL about terminating the lease, make sure you get a decent interval to relocate, cash to do it and something in your pocket.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    You absolutely should be compensated for vacating early. Your lease is a legally binding contract which gives you specific rights to the property. Your landlord cannot terminate the lease without your consent. You should hold out until he is willing to pay you a lump sum sufficient to compensate you for giving up your rights and for your relocation costs (physically moving, finding another store front, advertising, letterhead, and any other associated incidental costs). If you choose this route, examine your lease closely to ensure you are in 100% compliance with the terms. Your landlord will likely be looking for an excuse to evict you. Any material breach of the lease contract could be grounds for eviction. You may wish to consult with an attorney who handles commercial leases for advice and possibly to represent you in any negotiations.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Casler Law Offices PLLC
    Casler Law Offices PLLC | Carlton C. Casler
    You are legally entitled to stay to the end of your lease, but you are free to agree to early termination of the lease in exchange for compensation. The amount of compensation is up to you, but I would start with one-half of the increased amount the landlord will get from the new tenant.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Salberg Murdock
    Salberg Murdock | Jeffrey D. Salberg
    Yes, you can negotiate a buy out of the remainder of your lease, or you can remain in the space pursuant to the terms and conditions of your lease. He cannot force you to move as long as you are not in default of your lease.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Sultan Law Office | Gregory Sultan
    Yes- Go for it. As a starting point 6 months of what the spread is between you and the new person. If you are going to rent or set up shop elsewhere, you might also ask for a reference letter about how good a tenant you are. Does the landlord have other space available that would work for you? Perhaps getting a discount and covering moving costs would work.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    You can negotiate any of the terms of the termination... including compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Fidelity National Title Insurance Company
    Fidelity National Title Insurance Company | Andrew Capelli
    Yes, you can certainly ask for compensation. However, your landlord is not obligated to offer you any compensation beyond not having to pay the rest of your lease if you both mutually agree to terminate it early. If you are able to negotiate some funds in exchange for moving out early, that would be nice, of course. Keep in mind you have, at present, a valid contract which you may enforce. Since you are not obligated to leave your lease early, so long as you are reasonable, you may have some leverage. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    W.R. Stewart & Associates | Ethan Miller
    A lease is a contract between the tenant and the landlord. The tenant agrees to pay rent and comply with the provisions of the lease in exchange for the landlord providing possession of the premises. Assuming you are in compliance with the lease, you have the right to remain in possession of the premises until your lease term expires. There may be an early termination provision in the lease which gives one party or the other the right to terminate early with notice. Absent that, however, it sounds like the landlord may have to buy you out of the lease in order to rent to the other prospective tenant. I recommend that you contact a landlord-tenant lawyer to review the specific facts of your matter and provide you a legal assessment.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, you are within your rights to ask for compensation for leaving early. I would suggest you engage an attorney for the transaction and to make it legally binding
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
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