Elke & Merchant LLP have experience with breaking a lease. Generally, when a tenant breaks a lease, the landlord is entitled to all lost rent for the remainder of the lease term. However, landlords must mitigate their monetary damages by making a good-faith effort to re-rent the unit at a similar rental rate. As soon as the unit is re-rented, the tenant is no longer liable to pay future monthly rent. In other words, a landlord is not allowed to “double-dip” – being paid by both you and the new tenant for the same apartment.
In some cases it can be argued that a tenant was forced-out of their unit due to a lack of habitability, a landlord’s refusal to make necessary repairs, a landlord’s refusal to quiet a noisy neighbor, or because of landlord harassment. Being forced to vacate under such circumstances is considered a “constructive eviction.”
Determining when a failure to repair is sufficiently egregious that it constitutes a constructive eviction is a complicated issue. There are also a number of steps a tenant should take before he actually breaks a lease. Given this, you should probably consult with an attorney regarding the specifics of your situation.