Limit Your Duty to Re-Let After Tenant Defaults

Consider this situation: With three years remaining on its lease, a commercial tenant decides to pull up stakes, vacate the premises, and stop paying rent. The landlord makes no effort to re-let the space and allows it to remain vacant through the end of the lease term. It then sues the tenant for the full three years’ worth of rent. There’s no clause in the lease requiring the landlord to “mitigate its damages” in the event of a tenant default. Can the landlord recover the full amount of the rent?

The answer is no, at least not in most states.

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