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Penalties for Breaking a Lease 

abomb577
abomb577
Posts: 1


Posted On: 8/29/2014
abomb577
abomb577
Posts: 1
I am currently in a 1-yr lease for an apartment unit in Toronto. Because of a need to relocate, I am interested in breaking the lease early and leaving before the year has expired. I asked the landlord if we could come to an agreement and he has given me my options. He said we can (1) assign or sublet the unit to another tenant or (2) leave within 60 days with a written notice.

He has noted that if I choose to leave after 60 days that we will lose our last months rent + the safety deposit of $200. Is this legal?

He has also said that if he cannot find a new tenant, then we are still responsible for the rent until they do so? Is this true?

Please let me know. Many thanks, Adrian.
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Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3787


Posted On: 9/2/2014
Moderator
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3787
Hello Adrian,

Thank you for sharing your situation and question with us.

You may be able to find some helpful information on breaking a lease in our Settlement.Org How can I end my tenancy early? article.

It is not clear what the "safety deposit" of $200 is referring to.

According to the Landlord and Tenant Board website,


Can a landlord ask for a deposit for keys?

Yes, but only if:

-the deposit is refundable and,
-the amount of the deposit is not more than the expected cost of replacing the key(s) if they are not returned to the landlord.

The landlord must give the deposit back when the tenant turns in their key(s) at the end of their tenancy.


and

Can the landlord charge the tenant a damage deposit?

No. A landlord cannot collect a damage deposit that they would use if there is damage done to the unit. Also, a landlord cannot use the last month’s rent deposit to cover damages in the unit.

If the landlord finds that a tenant has damaged the unit or caused damage to the building, the landlord can give the tenant a notice and/or ask them to pay for the damages. If they do not, the landlord can apply to have the Board determine if there are damages and what should be done about them. For more information about the remedies available to a landlord if a tenant causes damage, see the Board’s brochure on Maintenance & Repairs.


We suggest that you may want to contact the nearest Community Legal Clinic for some assistance and additional information specific to your situation.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

=====
Anna
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS
Settlement.Org
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