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I'm moving out of my current housing. I've been in the same rented house for about 3 years, during that time it's been passed between two companies. I've renewed the lease twice during this time. It's a college town roommate situation -- the previous roommates who moved out were able to take their names off the lease provided they had someone who passed the company's screening to replace them. I already have someone approved to take my spot, but now the company is asking a $150 removal-from-lease fee (note that the lease is not broken, as the property is still being paid for, I just won't be the one living there anymore) This fee is not something the previous roommates I've had ever had to pay when moving out, and it is not listed in the lease we signed.

The company says this is their "company policy" that was instituted in January of this year, but there was no correspondence between the company and us that this change was made, and it was not on the lease we signed in March of this year.

They are refusing to take my name off the lease until I pay this fee. Are they legally allowed to do this?

  • What jurisdiction (region) is this? – Zizouz212 Aug 2 '17 at 21:58
  • Sorry should have included that! USA - Utah specifically. I went in and talked to them again and they decided they'd grandfather me in under the old policy, since they didn't notify me of the policy change. – Kwuz Aug 2 '17 at 23:45
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They are absolutely allowed to do this, unless the lease expressly forbids it. A landlord may, for whatever reason, release a party from a lease, or refuse to do so (assuming no violation of housing discrimination laws whereby then only charge people of a certain religion to be released from a lease). They can do this for free, or they can charge for it. If there is no provision in the lease that guarantees a right to sublet or otherwise be removed from a lease on demand, then you being released from your obligation is at the owner's sufferance. Since there is no lease-guaranteed right to get out of a lease (for free or for a fee), the owner can set any terms he wants, and need not inform tenants when he changes his policy.

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