Can a Landlord Keep a Deposit if a Tenant Breaks the Lease on a Commercial Property?

Can a Landlord Keep a Deposit if a Tenant Breaks the Lease on a Commercial Property?In most cases, if you are a tenant planning to leave a commercial property, you must provide your landlord with 30 days’ written notice. Failure to do so may result in the landlord continuing to collect rent from you even after you vacate the property. You are responsible for paying the rent for those 30 days unless a new tenant covers it. If you pay rent weekly, a 7-day notice is required.

If you need to vacate the property before your lease expires, you must discuss this with your landlord. If permitted, you can find a subtenant by following the conditions set by your landlord or lease. Alternatively, the landlord might allow someone else to take over your lease, return your security deposit, and collect a new security deposit from the new tenant.

However, if your landlord does not agree to early termination or subletting and you vacate the property anyway, you may be liable for the remaining rent owed. The tenant is only responsible for rent for the months the property remains vacant. The landlord has a “duty to mitigate,” which means they must make reasonable efforts to re-let the unit. The landlord can deduct any unpaid rent due to early lease termination from your security deposit.

If you wish to vacate the property early without a valid reason, it is better to explore alternatives rather than simply leaving and hoping your landlord quickly finds a new tenant. You can reduce the rent you owe and increase the likelihood of receiving a positive reference from your landlord by:

  1. Providing as much advance notice as possible.
  2. Writing a letter explaining your reasons for needing to vacate early.
  3. Finding a suitable replacement tenant to sign a new lease with your landlord.
Skip to content