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Leilani- AZ

Lease Takeover but No Unit

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I signed a lease with 2 friends for a student-only apartment that doesnt start for another 3.5 months but one of my friends just got a service dog and I'm badly allergic so I need to break my lease. The manager said I need to find someone to "take over my lease" but wasnt helpful in answering my questions for what that means. My main questions are: I signed while there was a deal on rent, does the person taking over my lease get the same discount? And (this may be a dumb one) if I dont have a room or unit attatched to my lease and the lease doesnt start for 3.5 more months and its peak leasing season for students, is there a legal reason why she cant just have the next person who signs a lease take mine over? 

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7 hours ago, Leilani said:

The manager said I need to find someone to "take over my lease" but wasnt helpful in answering my questions for what that means.

 

It means you need to try and find someone to live there instead of you.

 

 

7 hours ago, Leilani said:

I signed while there was a deal on rent, does the person taking over my lease get the same discount?

 

If you find someone to take your place, he or she will get all the benefits and have all of the obligations that you have under the terms of the lease.

 

 

7 hours ago, Leilani said:

is there a legal reason why she cant just have the next person who signs a lease take mine over?

 

No, but this makes no difference.

 

You should make sure that you get a full release of your obligations under the lease from your landlord and your roommates.

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8 hours ago, Leilani said:

is there a legal reason why she cant just have the next person who signs a lease take mine over

Yeah.  The person who takes over your share of the three party lease must be acceptable to the landlord and the other co-tenants.  The landlord can't simply order the co-tenants to accept the next person who comes along. 

 

This may be the first and most important part of your education.  Contracts impose obligations!

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Not having read anything you signed, it is impossible to comment about your obligations. One doesn't just purchase a service dog on the spur of the moment so it seems off you would agree to move in with someone who was planning to get one if you are allergic, but you have a few choices. You mention "student" housing though not if this is  official campus housing or not. You can approach the student housing department at your school if they are in any way affiliated with the school as the school may be able to intercede or have some way of assisting. Many schools also offer free or greatly reduced cost legal services to students. Take the lease you signed to them to discuss your options. It is peak leasing season so use your network and that of your roommates to find someone to take your place.

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Leilani, you also ignored the question about your state, which could make a difference in any potential consequences depending on decisions you might make.

 

In addition to questions that others have asked (that need answering) did you hand over any money when you signed the lease.

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I live in Arizona. I didn't have to give any money when signing the lease. The girl applied to get a service dog without telling me in February and plans on getting approved by the beginning of the school year in late April. She claims she didn't feel the need to tell me because I can "just take more medicine and stay in [my] room." The apartment isn's owned by the university but they are affiliated. Thank you for the suggestion to check with the school's legal services. Thank you everyone for your help!

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36 minutes ago, Leilani said:

The apartment isn's owned by the university but they are affiliated.

 

What does affiliated mean? Not the meaning of the word, but the relationship between the apartments and the school. Would there be any detriment to you by the school if you just walked away from the apartment deal?

 

Are you financially capable of living on your own, in your own small apartment, like a studio or efficiency?

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The university advertises for it on it's "off campus housing" site and let's the apartment's shuttle drop students off on campus. There wouldn't be any detriment to me by the school if I walked away.

 

I am financially capable of living in a small apartment further from campus.

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Good. Walk away. Give each of your roommates and the landlord a written letter (no text, no email) that you are cancelling your contract due to your allergy to dogs.

 

Then stop talking. They will threaten and cajole but Arizona law requires aggrieved parties to mitigate their damages. See ARS 33-1305A:

 

https://law.justia.com/codes/arizona/2018/title-33/section-33-1305/

 

It's part of the Residential Landlord Tenant Statute. It means that it's up to them to find a replacement for you and they have 3 1/2 months to do it.

 

Advice for the future: Avoid roommate arrangements like the plague. You're already seeing what a nightmare they can turn out to be.

 

Rudyard Kipling wrote: "He travels the fastest who travels alone."

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