I've recently moved into an apartment in LA, and I'm on the lease with two other co-tenants. For a variety of reasons, I'm planning on moving out (it's a long story), even though all three of us tenants are on the lease until June of next year.
Conveniently, though, there is an escape clause:
Escape Clause: If the Premises are not vacated by the current renter and all personal property removed therefrom by the Start Date, either the Renter or Owner may terminate this Agreement by written notice to the other, all deposits for, or payments of other charges, shall be refunded except for payment for verification of credit, and neither Renter nor Owner shall have any further liability to the other.
And it turns out, a previous roommate (whom I'm replacing on the new lease) left a whole bunch of her stuff, many of which I didn't expect. Could this be used to enforce this escape clause?
I am extremely tempted to do so now, but there are a few concerns:
1. Proving that those are "her" property left behind (and not "given" to others)
I believe I can do this with proper documentation, but it is a concern.
2. Must I prove that her leftover property causes any "habitability problems?" According to a lawyer I spoke to, it seems like it's a clause intended for the cases where the previous renter really hasn't moved out because then, the new renter can't move in.
3. "And" statement: the conditional is phrased as a "if not A and B" where
A=premises are vacated by the Start Date, and B=all personal property removed from [the place].
A lawyer was adamant that not A and not B both must be satisfied instead of just not A or not B (which is equivalent to not (A and B)). And since not A is not true (the roommate did move out), the whole clause is not applicable. Is this true?
4. Is there a time limit for when I can apply this clause? I would like to wait until I find another suitable place to move into, but by then, what if this clause doesn't apply anymore?
5. Some suggested that this clause might only be applicable when a group of roommates moved into a new apartment (i.e. when the lease is "new") and not when a new person replaces old roommate. Is this true?
6. Are there any other loopholes you foresee in this clause?