Termination Issues

Terminating Contract

The contract you signed is a legal, binding contract.  There is never a completely safe way to break a contract.  Except under certain situations, you continue to be responsible for any unpaid rents until a suitable replacement tenant is found or the contract period ends.  A suitable replacement tenant should be someone that the landlord would normally rent to.  Landlords are able to establish their own standards of who they are willing to rent to as long as they are consistent and do not discriminate against protected classes (color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability) and must agree on the replacement tenant.  Any “deals” or negotiations made with either landlord or replacement tenants should be done in writing and signed by both parties.

Your landlord has a duty to try to re-rent the apartment. After you move, watch the paper for ads, and keep an eye on the property you vacated. After someone else moves in, you are no longer responsible for the rent because your landlord cannot collect double rent for the same property. However, under certain conditions the landlord can collect the difference between the old rental rate and the new rental rate. Always check the beginning and ending dates before signing.  Once a contract is signed, you can only terminate under specific conditions. Remember that your intent to terminate under the conditions below must be done in writing.

Notification of Termination:

When notifying landlords about any type of termination, keep the following items in mind:

Terminating Contract before Tenancy:

Either the landlord or the tenant may terminate a BYU Contracted Housing contract any time more than 90 days before the commencement date on the contract.  This notice must be given in writing to the other party.  The person terminating the contract must pay a $50.00 fee at that time. When the student gives notice of termination, any prepaid rental and/or deposit monies owed by the landlord shall be refunded to the student within 30 days of the notice of termination. When the landlord gives notice of termination, any prepaid rental and/or deposit monies owed by the landlord shall be refunded to the student at the time notice of termination is given.

Delayed Possession:

If the apartment is not ready for occupancy at the date the contract begins, the student will not be liable for the rent until he/she is able to move into the apartment.  In addition, the student may elect to terminate the contract at any time until possession is delivered.  The landlord will be responsible for any accommodation expenses of the student through the third day from the beginning of the contract or the student terminates, whichever is earlier.

Termination of University Contract:

If at any time a contracted housing unit loses its contract with BYU, students may terminate their contract upon five days written notice to the landlord or its agent.  The landlord agrees to remit within 5 days the balance of any prepaid rental and/or deposit monies to any student electing to terminate his or her Agreement in accordance with this paragraph. The landlord may retain only a pro-rated portion of nonrefundable fees.

Termination of Student-Landlord Rental Agreement by Tenant:

The following are situations where the contract may be terminated prior to its expiration by the tenant, with all rental charges prorated through the last day of tenancy: 

A. Death of the student.  

B. If the student leaves school due to a verified unforeseeable and unexpected catastrophic loss or serious illness.   Landlord may require acceptable verification be submitted. Student shall forfeit security deposit and legal deductions. 

C. If the student leaves school due to a verified call into active military duty, the student may terminate further contractual obligation after 5 days written notice to landlord as outlined in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003. 

D. If, at any time during the term of the contract, the student graduates from BYU or is required to do an internship for graduation which necessitates leaving the area, the student may terminate with 120 days written notice and shall forfeit security deposit and legal deductions. After receiving the 120 day written notice the Landlord may at the end of any semester, re-let the rental space and thus relieve the student of any further obligation under this Agreement or continue to collect rents for the full duration of the 120 days. The student’s rent obligation continues 120 days from the date written notice is given to the landlord. 

E. After student gives notice of his or her intent to vacate the property, if the student or landlord finds a suitable substitute student who executes a new rental Agreement with the landlord, the student may terminate without penalty or further contractual obligation. The last day of tenancy shall be the day before the substitute tenancy begins and the landlord shall not unreasonably decline to accept any suitable substitute student or aid the student in finding and renting the property to any suitable substitute student.   Landlord may charge the student a reasonable fee for costs of early termination under this subsection provided such fee is agreed to in writing. If the student finds a suitable substitute student, which the landlord refuses to accept in a timely manner, the student may terminate without penalty or further contractual obligation. No subleasing or assignment is permitted except as agreed to by landlord.

F. After written notice from the student of any material, substantial, or continuing breach of this Agreement by the landlord or of a failure of the landlord to take reasonable steps to maintain the Residential Living Standards and the landlord fails to correct the problem within a reasonable amount of time, the student may request a termination of the contract in writing.  The landlord may choose to take the matter to the CCR (Center for Conflict Resolution).

Termination of Student-Landlord Rental Agreement by Landlord:

The following are situations where the contract may be terminated prior to its expiration by the landlord.  Be aware that if any of these instances happen, the tenant will still be liable for the contract until a suitable replacement tenant is found.  In any of the following instances the landlord may elect to terminate the lease, re-enter, and take possession of the premises after notifying the student in writing according to procedures given in Utah Law:

A. Failure of the student to make any payment required under this contract when due. 

B. When the cost of damages caused by the student or his/her guests exceeds the amount of the security deposit; 

C. When the student causes any material, substantial, or continuing breach of this Agreement; 

D. When the student violates the Residential Living Standards, or is not eligible to live in University Contracted Housing as defined in the Certification of Student Status. 

E. When the student’s conduct interferes with other residents’ rights to peaceful enjoyment of the premises, recklessly endangers human life including self, or when the student assaults, harasses, disturbs the peace of, intentionally damages, defaces or destroys the property of, or threatens physical harm against other students, the landlord or its agent, or when the student suffers, permits, or maintains any nuisance, or any health or safety hazard on the premises. 

The Landlord can terminate the agreement only by lawful means. Landlord shall not re-enter by means of force or seek to reclaim the premises by lockout, or termination of essential services. If the landlord re-enters the premises in accordance with this paragraph, or any other provisions authorizing forfeiture, the landlord shall use his or her best effort to re-rent the premises on reasonable terms and the student agrees to pay landlord any differences between rent agreed herein and rent collected from re-rental of the premises for the remaining term of the lease. If the student, without just cause, fails to comply with legal notices of eviction or court orders, the student agrees to pay all costs of eviction including legal penalties provided by law and a reasonable attorney's fee.