We moved out two months early, we were fully prepared to keep paying the rent even though we aren’t living there because of the lease. He told us if we could find somebody to take over the lease that we wouldn’t have to pay the rent but I could not find anyone. We are responsible for lawn care so I have my dad go over there and mow the lawn for us I just got a call from him this morning saying someone has been living at the house. I sent him a picture of my landlords business card and I asked him if that’s the guy he saw living at the house. Turns out the landlord has been living there for a week. Is this allowed? Am I still expected to pay rent if he is living there?

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    jurisdiction is likely important to your question. consider to add info regarding country, state, possibly city
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


the landlord has been living there for a week. Is this allowed? Am I still expected to pay rent if he is living there?

Generally speaking, no. But you need to verify that your lease contains no language that overrides certain basic assumption about leases. My understanding is that (1) you delivered the property, and (2) the landlord was not entitled to live there during your tenancy.

Usually one basic assumption in a lease is that only the tenants and their beneficiaries/guests ("tenants", for brevity) are entitled to use the property. It appears that the landlord is neither.

Your delivery of the property enabled the landlord to reassign the tenant's exclusive right whenever the landlord deems it fit. The scenario of you finding someone to replace you in the lease is merely one alternative from which the landlord can make the informed decision to reassign that right.

The event of reassignment automatically releases you from subsequent payments related to your early move-out. Accordingly, the landlord's informed and willful reassignment (in this case, to himself) of the aforementioned exclusive right forfeits his entitlement to subsequent payments from you. This renders the [rest of the] lease voidable by you. In this regard, see Restatement (Second) of Contracts at §§ 151 and 153(a).

There is also an issue of fraud and quantum meruit (see also unjust enrichment) insofar as the landlord benefited at your expense (in the form of your father's work on behalf of you) without informing you that reassignment had taken place already. The landlord knowingly and intentionally deprived you of the opportunity to decide whether to keep taking care of property about which you no longer had any obligation.

I presume you already are mindful of this but I should still mention it: Make sure you can prove the landlord was actually using the property rather than inspecting/enhancing/managing it.


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